THE FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS

and

THE EIGHTFOLD PATH


 
 
THUS has it been said by the Buddha, the Enlightened One: It is
through not understanding, not realizing four things, that I,
Disciples, as well as you, had to wander so long through this
round of rebirths. And what are these four things? They are the
Noble Truth of Suffering, the Noble Truth of the Origin of
Suffering, the Noble Truth of the Extinction of Suffering, the
Noble Truth of the Path that leads to the Extinction of Suffering.

As long as the absolutely true knowledge and insight as regards
these Four Noble Truths was not quite clear in me, so long was I
not sure whether I had won that supreme Enlightenment which is
unsurpassed in all the world with its heavenly beings, evil
spirits and gods, amongst all the hosts of ascetics and priests,
heavenly beings and men. But as soon as the absolutely true
knowledge and insight as regards these Four Noble Truths had
become perfectly clear in me, there arose in me the assurance that
I had won that supreme Enlightenment unsurpassed.

And I discovered that-profound truth, so difficult to perceive,
difficult to understand, tranquilizing and sublime, which is not
to be gained by mere reasoning, and is visible only to the wise.

The world, however, is given to pleasure, delighted with
pleasure, enchanted with pleasure. Verily, such beings will hardly
understand the law of conditionality, the Dependent Origination of
every thing; incomprehensible to them will also be the end of all
formations, the forsaking of every substratum of rebirth, the
fading away of craving; detachment, extinction, Nirvana.

Yet there are beings whose eyes are only a little covered with
dust: they will understand the truth.
 
 
 

FIRST TRUTH

THE NOBLE TRUTH OF SUFFERING

WHAT, now, is the Noble Truth of Suffering?

Birth is suffering; Decay is suffering; Death is suffering;
Sorrow, Lamentation, Pain, Grief, and Despair, are suffering; not
to get what one desires, is suffering; in short: the Five Groups
of Existence are suffering.

What, now, is Birth? The birth of beings belonging to this or
that order of beings, their being born, their conception and
springing into existence, the manifestation of the groups of
existence, the arising of sense activity -- this is called Birth.

And what is Decay? The decay of beings belonging to this or that
order of beings; their getting aged, frail, grey, and wrinkled;
the failing of their vital force, the wearing out of the senses --
this is called Decay.

And what is Death? The parting and vanishing of beings out of
this or that order of beings, their destruction, disappearance,
death, the completion of their life-period, dissolution of the
groups of existence, the discarding of the body -- this is called
Death.

And what is Sorrow? The sorrow arising through this or that loss
or misfortune which one encounters, the worrying oneself, the
state of being alarmed, inward sorrow, inward woe -- this is
called Sorrow.

And what is Lamentation? Whatsoever, through this or that loss or
misfortune which befalls one, is wail and lament, wailing and
lamenting, the state of woe and lamentation -- this is called
Lamentation.

And what is Pain? The bodily pain and unpleasantness, the painful
and unpleasant feeling produced by bodily contact -- this is
called Pain.

And what is Grief? The mental pain and unpleasantness, the
painful and unpleasant feeling produced by mental contact -- this
is called Grief.

And what is Despair? Distress and despair arising through this or
that loss or misfortune which one encounters, distressfulness, and
desperation -- this is called Despair.

And what is the "suffering of not getting what one desires?" To
beings subject to birth there comes the desire: "O that we were
not subject to birth! O that no new birth was before us!" Subject
to decay, disease, death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and
despair, the desire comes to them: "O that we were not subject to
these things! O that these things were not before us!" But this
cannot be got by mere desiring; and not to get what one desires,
is suffering.
 
 
 

THE FIVE GROUPS OF EXISTENCE

And what, in brief, are the Five Groups of Existence? They are
Corporeality, Feeling, Perception, [mental] Formations, and
Consciousness.

Any corporeal phenomenon, whether one's own or external, gross or
subtle, lofty or low, far or near, belongs to the Group of
Corporeality; any feeling {=emotion?} belongs to the Group of
Feeling; any perception belongs to the Group of Perception; any
mental formation {=abstract thought?} belongs to the Group of
Formations; all consciousness belongs to the Group of
Consciousness.

[Our so-called individual existence is in reality nothing but a
mere process of these "bodily and mental" phenomena, which since
immemorial times was going on before one's apparent birth, and
which also after death will continue for immemorial periods of
time. In the following, we shall see that these five Groups, or
Khandhas -- either taken separately, or combined -- in no way
constitute any real "Ego {or self}-entity," and that no ego {or
self}-entity exists apart from them, and hence that the belief in
an ego {or self}-entity is merely an illusion. Just as that which
we designate by the name of "chariot," has no existence apart from
axle, wheels, shaft, and so forth: or as the word "house" is
merely a convenient designation for various materials put together
after a certain fashion so as to enclose a portion of space, and
there is no separate house-entity in existence: in exactly the
same way, that which we call a "being," or an "individual," or a
"person," or by the name, is nothing but a changing combination of
physical and psychical phenomena, and has no real existence in
itself.]
 
 

THE "CORPOREALITY GROUP" OF FOUR ELEMENTS

What, now, is the Group of Corporeality? It is the four primary
elements, and Corporeality derived from them.

And what are the four primary elements? They are the Solid
Element, the Fluid Element, the Heating Element, the Vibrating
Element. {earth, water, fire and air, in Greek terminology}

[The four elements, or -- to speak more correctly -- the four
elementary qualities of matter, may be rendered in English as:
Inertia, Cohesion, Radiation, and Vibration.

The twenty-four corporeal phenomena which depend upon them are,
according to the Abhidharma: eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, visible
form, sound, odor, taste, masculinity, femininity, vitality, organ
of thinking, gesture, speech, space (cavities of ear, nose, etc.),
agility, elasticity, adaptability, growth, duration, decay,
variability, change of substance.]

1. What, now, is the Solid Element? The solid element may be
one's own, or it may be external. And what is one's own solid
element? The dependent properties, which on one's own person and
body are hard and solid, as the hairs of head and body, nails,
teeth, skin, flesh, sinews, bones, marrow, kidneys, heart, liver,
diaphragm, spleen, lungs, stomach, bowels, mesentery, excrement,
or whatever other dependent properties which on one's own person
and body are hard and solid -- this is called one's own solid
element. Now, whether it be one's own solid element, or whether it
be the external solid element, they are both only the solid
element.

And one should understand, according to reality, and true wisdom:
"This does not belong to me; this am I not; this is not my ego {or
self}, {this is not my self}."

2. What, now, is the Fluid Element? The fluid element may be
one's own, or it may be external. And what is one own fluid
element? The dependent properties, which on one's own person and
body are watery or cohesive, as bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat,
lymph, tears, semen, spit, nasal mucus, oil of the joints, urine
or whatever other dependent properties which on one own person and
body are watery or cohesive -- this is called one's own fluid
element. Now, whether it be one's own fluid element, or whether it
be the external fluid element, they are both only the fluid
element.

And one should understand, according to reality, and true wisdom:
"This does not belong to me; this am I not; this is not my ego {or
self}."

3. What, now, is the Heating Element? The heating element may be
one own, or it may be external. And what is one's own heating
element? The dependent properties, which on one's own person and
body are heating and radiating, as that whereby one is heated,
consumed, scorched, whereby that which has been eaten, drunk,
chewed, or tasted, is fully digested; or whatever other dependent
properties, which on one's own person and body are heating and
radiating this is called one's own heating element. Now, whether
it be one's own heating element, or whether it be the external
heating element, they are both only the heating element.

And one should understand, according to reality, and true wisdom:
"This does not belong to me; this am I not; this is not my ego {or
self}."

4. What, now, is the Vibrating Element? The vibrating element may
be one's own, or it may be external. And what is one's own
vibrating element? The dependent properties, which on one's own
person and body are mobile and gaseous, as the upward-going and
downward-going winds; the winds of stomach and intestines;
in-breathing and out-breathing; or whatever other dependent
properties, which on one's own person and body are mobile and
gaseous-this is called one's own vibrating element. Now, whether
it be one's own vibrating element, or whether it be the external
vibrating element, they are both only the vibrating element.

And one should understand, according to reality, and true wisdom:
"This does not belong to me; this am I not; this is not my ego {or
self}."

Just as one calls "hut" the circumscribed space which comes to be
by means of wood and rushes, reeds, and clay, even so we call
"body" the circumscribed space that comes to be by means of bones
and sinews, flesh and skin.
 
 

DEPENDENT ORIGINATION OF CONSCIOUSNESS

Now, though one's eye be intact, yet if the external forms do not
fall within the field of vision, and no corresponding conjunction
takes place, in that case there occurs no formation of the
corresponding aspect of consciousness. Or, though one eye be
intact, and the external forms fall within the field of vision,
yet if no corresponding conjunction takes place, in that case also
there occurs no formation of the corresponding aspect of
consciousness. If, however, one's eye is intact, and the external
forms fall within the field of vision, and the corresponding
conjunction takes place, in that case there arises the
corresponding aspect of consciousness.

Hence, I say: the arising of consciousness is dependent upon
conditions; and without these conditions, no consciousness arises.
And upon whatsoever conditions the arising of consciousness is
dependent, after these it is called.

Consciousness whose arising depends on the eye and forms, is
called "eye consciousness."

Consciousness whose arising depends on the ear and sound, is
called "ear consciousness."

Consciousness whose arising depends on the olfactory organ and
odors, is called "nose-consciousness."

Consciousness whose arising depends on the tongue and taste, is
called "tongue-consciousness."

Consciousness whose arising depends on the body and bodily
contacts, is called "body-consciousness."

Consciousness whose arising depends on the mind and ideas, is
called "mind consciousness."

Whatsoever there is of "corporeality" in the consciousness thus
arisen, that belongs to the Group of Corporeality. Whatsoever
there is of "feeling" -- bodily ease, pain, joy, sadness, or
indifferent feeling -- belongs to the Group of Feeling. Whatsoever
there is of "perception" -- visual objects, sounds, odors, tastes,
bodily impressions, or mind objects -- belongs to the Group of
Perception. Whatsoever there are of mental "formations"
impression, volition, etc. -- belong to the Group of mental
Formations. Whatsoever there is of "consciousness" therein,
belongs to the Group of Consciousness.

And it is impossible that any one can explain the passing out of
one existence, and the entering into a new existence, or the
growth, increase, and development of consciousness, independent of
corporeality, feeling, perception, and mental formations.
 
 
 

THE THREE CHARACTERISTICS OF EXISTENCE

All formations are "transient"; all formations are "subject to
suffering"; all things are "without an ego {or self}-entity."
Corporeality is transient, feeling is transient, perception is
transient, mental formations are transient, consciousness is
transient.

And that which is transient, is subject to suffering; and of that
which is transient, and subject to suffering and change, one
cannot rightly say: "This belongs to me; this am I; this is my ego
{or self}."

Therefore, whatever there be of corporeality, of feeling,
perception, mental formations, or consciousness, whether one's own
or external, whether gross or subtle, lofty or low, far or near,
one should understand, according to reality, and true wisdom:
"This does not belong to me; this am I not; this is not my ego {or
self}."

Suppose, a man who is not blind, were to behold the many bubbles
on the Ganges as they are driving along; and he should watch them,
and carefully examine them. After carefully examining them, they
will appear to him empty, unreal, and unsubstantial. In exactly
the same way, does the disciple behold all the corporeal
phenomena, feelings, perceptions, mental formations, and states of
consciousness-whether they be of the past, or the present, or the
future, far, or near. And he watches them, and examines them
carefully; and, after carefully examining them, they appear to him
empty, void, and without an ego {or self}

Whoso delights in corporeality, or feeling, or perception, or
mental formations, or consciousness, he delights in suffering; and
whoso delights in suffering, will not be freed from suffering.
Thus I say:

How can you find delight and mirth,
Where there is burning without end?
In deepest darkness you are wrapped!
Why do you not seek for the light?
Look at this puppet here, well rigged,
A heap of many sores, piled up,
Diseased, and full of greediness,
Unstable, and impermanent!
Devoured by old age is this frame,
A prey of sickness, weak and frail;
To pieces breaks this putrid body,
All life must truly end in death.
 
 
 

THE THREE WARNINGS

Did you never see in the world a man, or a woman, eighty, ninety,
or a hundred years old, frail, crooked as a gable roof, bent down,
resting on crutches, with tottering steps, infirm, youth long
since fled, with broken teeth, grey and scanty hair, or
bald-headed, wrinkled, with blotched limbs? And did the thought
never come to you that also you are subject to decay, that also
you cannot escape it?

Did you never see in the world a man, or a woman, who being sick,
afflicted, and grievously ill, and wallowing in his own filth, was
lifted up by some people, and put to bed by others? And did the
thought never come to you that also you are subject to disease,
that also you cannot escape it?

Did you never see in the world the corpse of a man, or a woman,
one, or two, or three days after death, swollen up, blue-black in
color, and full of corruption? And did the thought never come to
you that also you are subject to death, that also you cannot
escape it?
 
 
 

SAMSARA, THE WHEEL OF EXISTENCE

Inconceivable is the beginning of this Samsara; not to be
discovered is any first beginning of beings, who, obstructed by
ignorance, and ensnared by craving, are hurrying and hastening
through this round of rebirths.

[Samsara -- the Wheel of Existence, lit., the "Perpetual
Wandering" -- is the name by which is designated the sea of life
ever restlessly heaving up and down, the symbol of this continuous
process of ever again and again being born, growing old,
suffering, and dying. More precisely put: Samsara is the unbroken
chain of the fivefold Khandha-combinations, which, constantly
changing from moment to moment, follow continuously one upon the
other through inconceivable periods of time. Of this Samsara, a
single lifetime constitutes only a vanishingly tiny fraction;
hence, to be able to comprehend the first noble truth, one must
let one's gaze rest upon the Samsara, upon this frightful chain of
rebirths, and not merely upon one single lifetime, which, of
course, may be sometimes not very painful.]

Which do you think is the more: the flood of tears, which weeping
and wailing you have shed upon this long way -- hurrying and
hastening through this round of rebirths, united with the
undesired, separated from the desired this, or the waters of the
four oceans?

Long time have you suffered the death of father and mother, of
sons, daughters, brothers, and sisters. And whilst you were thus
suffering, you have, verily, shed more tears upon this long way
than there is water in the four oceans.

Which do you think is the more: the streams of blood that,
through your being beheaded, have flowed upon this long way, or
the waters in the four oceans?

Long time have you been caught as dacoits, or highwaymen, or
adulterers; and, through your being beheaded, verily, more blood
has flowed upon this long way than there is water in the four
oceans.

But how is this possible?

Inconceivable is the beginning of this Samsara; not to be
discovered is any first beginning of beings, who, obstructed by
ignorance, and ensnared by craving, are hurrying and hastening
through this round of rebirths.

And thus have you long time undergone suffering, undergone
torment, undergone misfortune, and filled the graveyards full;
verily, long enough to be dissatisfied with all the forms of
existence, long enough to turn away, and free yourselves from them
all.
 
 
 

SECOND TRUTH

THE NOBLE TRUTH OF THE ORIGIN OF SUFFERING

WHAT, now, is the Noble Truth of the Origin of Suffering? It is
that craving which gives rise to fresh rebirth, and, bound up with
pleasure and lust, now here, now there, finds ever fresh delight.

[In the absolute sense, it is no real being, no self-determined,
unchangeable, ego {or self}-entity that is reborn. Moreover, there
is nothing that remains the same even for two consecutive moments;
for the Five Khandhas, or Groups of Existence, are in a state of
perpetual change, of continual dissolution and renewal. They die
every moment, and every moment new ones are born. Hence it follows
that there is no such thing as a real existence, or "being" (Latin
esse), but only as it were an endless process, a continuous
change, a "becoming," consisting in a "producing," and in a "being
produced"; in a "process of action," and in a "process of
reaction," or "rebirth."

This process of perpetual "producing" and "being produced" may
best be compared with an ocean wave. In the case of a wave, there
is not the slightest quantity of water traveling over the surface
of the sea. But the wave structure, that hastens over the surface
of the water, creating the appearance of one and the same mass of
water, is, in reality, nothing but the continuous rising and
falling of continuous, but quite different, masses of water,
produced by the transmission of force generated by the wind. Even
so, the Buddha did not teach that ego {or self}-entities hasten
through the ocean of rebirth, but merely life-waves, which,
according to their nature and activities (good, or evil), manifest
themselves here as men, there as animals, and elsewhere as
invisible beings.]
 
 
 

THE THREEFOLD CRAVING

There is the "Sensual Craving," the "Craving for
Eternal-Annihilation." "Existence," the "Craving for
Self-Annihilation."

[The "Craving for Eternal Existence," according to the
Visuddhi-Magga, is intimately connected with the so-called
"Eternity-Belief," i.e., the belief in an absolute, eternal, ego
{or self}-entity persisting independently of our body.

The Craving for Self-Annihilation is the outcome of the so-called
"Annihilation-Belief," the delusive materialistic notion of an ego
{or self} which is annihilated at death, and which does not stand
in any causal relation with the time before birth or after death.]

But, where does this craving arise and take root? Wherever in the
world there are delightful and pleasurable things, there this
craving arises and takes root. Eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and
mind, are delightful and pleasurable: there this craving arises
and takes root.

Visual objects, sounds, smells, tastes, bodily impressions, and
mind-objects, are delightful and pleasurable: there this craving
arises and takes root.

Consciousness, sense impression, feeling born of sense
impression, perception, will, craving, thinking, and reflecting,
are delightful and pleasurable: there this craving arises and
takes root.

If, namely, when perceiving a visual object, a sound, odor,
taste, bodily impression, or a mind object, the object is
pleasant, one is attracted; and if unpleasant, one is repelled.

Thus, whatever kind of "Feeling" one experiences, pleasant,
unpleasant, or indifferent -- one approves of, and cherishes the
feeling, and clings to it; and while doing so, lust springs up;
but lust for feelings, means Clinging; and on Clinging, depends
the "Process of Becoming"; on the Process of Becoming
(Karma-process), depends (future) "Birth"; and dependent on Birth,
are Decay and Death, Sorrow, Lamentation, Pain, Grief, and
Despair. Thus arises this whole mass of suffering.

This is called the Noble Truth of the Origin of Suffering.
 
 
 

HEAPING UP OF PRESENT SUFFERING

Verily, due to sensuous craving, conditioned through sensuous
craving, impelled by sensuous craving, entirely moved by sensuous
craving, kings fight with kings, princes with princes, priests
with priests, citizens with citizens; the mother quarrels with the
son, the son with the mother, the father with the son, the son
with the father; brother quarrels with brother, brother with
sister, sister with brother, friend with friend. Thus, given to
dissension, quarreling and fighting, they fall upon one another
with fists, sticks, or weapons. And thereby they suffer death or
deadly pain.

And further, due to sensuous craving, conditioned through
sensuous craving, impelled by sensuous craving, entirely moved by
sensuous craving, people break into houses, rob, plunder, pillage
whole houses, commit highway robbery, seduce the wives of others.
Then, the rulers have such people caught, and inflict on them
various forms of punishment. And thereby they incur death or
deadly pain. Now, this is the misery of sensuous craving, the
heaping up of suffering in this present life, due to sensuous
craving, conditioned through sensuous craving, caused by sensuous
craving, entirely dependent on sensuous craving.
 
 
 

HEAPING UP OF FUTURE SUFFERING

And further, people take the evil way in deeds, the evil way in
words, the evil way in thoughts; and by taking the evil way in
deeds, words, and thoughts, at the dissolution of the body, after
death, they fall into a downward state of existence, a state of
suffering, into perdition, and the abyss of hell. But, this is the
misery of sensuous craving, the heaping up of suffering in the
future life, due to sensuous craving, conditioned through sensuous
craving, caused by sensuous craving, entirely dependent on
sensuous craving.

Not in the air, nor ocean-midst,
Nor hidden in the mountain clefts,
Nowhere is found a place on earth,
Where man is freed from evil deeds.
 
 

INHERITANCE OF DEEDS (KARMA)

For, owners of their deeds (karma) are the beings, heirs of their
deeds; their deeds are the womb from which they sprang; with their
deeds they are bound up; their deeds are their refuge. Whatever
deeds they do-good or evil-of such they will be the heirs.

And wherever the beings spring into existence, there their deeds
will ripen; and wherever their deeds ripen, there they will earn
the fruits of those deeds, be it in this life, or be it in the
next life, or be it in any other future life.

There will come a time, when the mighty ocean will dry up,
vanish, and be no more. There will come a time, when the mighty
earth will be devoured by fire, perish, and be no more. But, yet
there will be no end to the suffering of beings, who, obstructed
by ignorance, and ensnared by craving, are hurrying and hastening
through this round of rebirths.
 
 
 

THIRD TRUTH

THE NOBLE TRUTH OF THE EXTINCTION OF SUFFERING

WHAT, now, is the Noble Truth of the Extinction of Suffering? It
is the complete fading away and extinction of this craving, its
forsaking and giving up, the liberation and detachment from it.

But where may this craving vanish, where may it be extinguished?
Wherever in the world there are delightful and pleasurable things,
there this craving may vanish, there it may be extinguished.

Be it in the past, present, or future, whosoever of the monks or
priests regards the delightful and pleasurable things in the world
as "impermanent," "miserable," and "without an ego {or self}," as
a disease and cancer; it is he who overcomes the craving.

And released from Sensual Craving, released from the Craving for
Existence, he does not return, does not enter again into
existence.
 
 
 

DEPENDENT EXTINCTION OF ALL PHENOMENA

For, through the total fading away and extinction of Craving,
Clinging is extinguished; through the extinction of clinging, the
Process of Becoming is extinguished; through the extinction of the
(karmic) process of becoming, Rebirth is extinguished; and through
the extinction of rebirth, Decay and Death, Sorrow, Lamentation,
Suffering, Grief, and Despair, are extinguished. Thus comes about
the extinction of this whole mass of suffering.

Hence, the annihilation, cessation, and overcoming of
corporeality, feeling, perception, mental formations, and
consciousness, this is the extinction of suffering, the end of
disease, the overcoming of old age and death.

[The undulatory motion, which we call wave -- which in the
spectator creates the illusion of a single mass of water moving
over the surface of the lake -- is produced and fed by the wind,
and maintained by the stored-up energies. After the wind has
ceased, and no fresh wind again whips up the water, the stored-up
energies will gradually be consumed, and the whole undulatory
motion come to an end. Similarly, if fire does not get new fuel,
it will become extinct. just so, this Five-Khandha-process --
which, in the ignorant worldling, creates the illusion of an ego
{or self}-entity -- is produced and fed by the life affirming
craving, and maintained for some time by means of the stored-up
life energies. Now, after the fuel, i.e., the craving and clinging
to life, has ceased, and no new craving impels again this
Five-Khandha-process, life will continue as long as there are
still life-energies stored up, but at their destruction at death,
the Five-Khandha-process will reach final extinction.

Thus, Nirvana or "Extinction" (Sanskrit: to cease blowing, to
become extinct), may be considered under two aspects:

1. "Extinction of Impurities," reached at the attainment of
Arahatship, or Holiness, which takes place during the life-time.

2. "Extinction of the Five-Khandha-process," which takes place at
the death of the Arahat.]
 
 
 

NIRVANA

This, truly, is the Peace, this is the Highest, namely the end of
all formations, the forsaking of every substratum of rebirth, the
fading away of craving: detachment, extinction-Nirvana.

Enraptured with lust, enraged with anger, blinded by delusion,
overwhelmed, with mind ensnared, man aims at his own ruin, at
others' ruin, at the ruin of both parties, and he experiences
mental pain and grief. But, if lust, anger, and delusion are given
up, man aims neither at his own ruin, nor at others' ruin, nor at
the ruin of both parties, and he experiences no mental pain and
grief. Thus is Nirvana immediate, visible in this life, inviting,
attractive, and comprehensible to the wise.

The extinction of greed, the extinction of anger, the extinction
of delusion: this, indeed, is called Nirvana.
 
 
 

THE ARAHAT, OR HOLY ONE

And for a disciple thus freed, in whose heart dwells peace, there
is nothing to be added to what has been done, and naught more
remains for him to do. Just as a rock of one solid mass remains
unshaken by the wind, even so, neither forms, nor sounds, nor
odors, nor tastes, nor contacts of any kind, neither the desired,
nor the undesired, can cause such an one to waver. Steadfast is
his mind, gained is deliverance.

And he who has considered all the contrasts on this earth, and is
no more disturbed by anything whatever in the world, the Peaceful
One, freed from rage, from sorrow, and from longing, he has passed
beyond birth and decay.
 
 
 

THE IMMUTABLE

There is a realm, where there is neither the solid, nor the fluid,
neither heat, nor motion {air}, neither this world, nor any other
world, neither sun, nor moon. This I call neither arising, nor
passing away, neither standing still nor being born, nor dying.
There is neither foothold, nor development, nor any basis. This is
the end of suffering.

There is an Unborn, Unoriginated, Uncreated, Unformed. If there
were not this Unborn, this Unoriginated, this Uncreated, this
Unformed, escape from the world of the born, the originated, the
created, the formed, would not be possible.

But since there is an Unborn, Unoriginated, Uncreated, Unformed,
therefore is escape possible from the world of the born, the
originated, the created, the formed.
 
 
 

FOURTH TRUTH

THE NOBLE TRUTH OF THE PATH HAT LEADS TO THE EXTINCTION OF
SUFFERING

THE TWO EXTREMES AND THE MIDDLE PATH

TO GIVE oneself up to indulgence in sensual pleasure, the base,
common, vulgar, unholy, unprofitable; and also to give oneself up
to self-mortification, the painful, unholy, unprofitable: both
these two extremes the Perfect One has avoided, and found out the
Middle Path, which makes one both to see and to know, which leads
to peace, to discernment, to enlightenment, to Nirvana.
 
 
 

THE EIGHTFOLD PATH

It is the Noble Eightfold Path, the way that leads to the
extinction of suffering, namely:

1. Right Understanding,
2. Right Mindedness,
... which together are Wisdom.
3. Right Speech,
4. Right Action,
5. Right Living,
... which together are Morality.
6. Right Effort,
7. Right Attentiveness,
8. Right Concentration,
...which together are Concentration.

This is the Middle Path which the Perfect One has found out,
which makes one both to see and to know, which leads to peace, to
discernment, to enlightenment, to Nirvana.

Free from pain and torture is this path, free from groaning and
suffering; it is the perfect path.

Truly, like this path there is no other path to the purity of
insight. If you follow this path, you will put an end to
suffering.

But each one has to struggle for himself, the Perfect Ones have
only pointed out the way.

Give ear then, for the Immortal is found. I reveal, I set forth
the Truth. As I reveal it to you, so act! And that supreme goal of
the holy life, for the sake of which, sons of good families
rightly go forth from home to the homeless state: this you will,
in no long time, in this very life, make known to yourself,
realize, and make your own.
 
 
 

THE EIGHTFOLD PATH

FIRST STEP

RIGHT UNDERSTANDING {OR "VISION"}

WHAT, now, is Right Understanding {or "vision"}? It is
understanding {or "seeing") the Four Truths. To understand {or
"see"} suffering; to understand {or "see"} the origin of
suffering; to understand {or "see"} the extinction of suffering;
to understand {or "see"} the path that leads to the extinction of
suffering: This is called Right Understanding {or "vision"}.

Or, when the noble disciple understands {or "sees"} what is
karmically wholesome, and the root of wholesome karma; what is
karmically unwholesome, and the root of unwholesome karma, then he
has Right Understanding {or "vision"}.

["Karmically unwholesome" is every volitional act of body,
speech, or mind which is rooted in greed, hatred, or delusion, and
produces evil and painful results in this or any future form of
existence.]

What, now, is "karmically unwholesome?"

In Bodily Action it is destruction of living beings {killing};
stealing; and unlawful {="unrighteous"?} sexual intercourse
{="adultery", in Biblical terms}. In Verbal Action it is lying
(cf.: "Thou shalt not bear false witness"}; tale-bearing; harsh
language; and frivolous talk {cf: "Thou shalt not take the name of
the Lord in vain"}. In Mental Action it is covetousness {cf.:
"Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, etc."}; ill-will; and
wrong views.

And what is the root of unwholesome karma? Greed is a root of
unwholesome karma; Anger is a root of unwholesome karma; Delusion
is a root of unwholesome karma.

[The state of greed, as well as that of anger, is always
accompanied by delusion; and delusion, ignorance, is the primary
root of all evil.]

Therefore, I say, these demeritorious actions are of three kinds:
either due to greed, or due to anger, or due to delusion.

What, now, is "karmically wholesome?"

In Bodily Action it is to abstain from killing; to abstain from
stealing; and to abstain from unlawful sexual intercourse.

In Verbal Action it is to abstain from lying; to abstain from
tale-bearing; to abstain from harsh language; and to abstain from
frivolous talk.

In Mental Action it is absence of covetousness; absence of
ill-will; and right understanding.

{Cf.: "Humata, Hukhta, Huvarshta" or "Good thoughts", "Good
words" and "Good deeds" in Zarathushtrianism}.

And what is the root of wholesome karma? Absence of greed
(unselfishness) is a root of wholesome karma; absence of anger
(benevolence) is a root of wholesome karma; absence of delusion
(wisdom) is a root of wholesome karma.

Or, when one understands that corporeality, feeling, perception,
mental formation, and consciousness, are transient [subject to
suffering, and without an ego {or self}], also in that case one
possesses Right Understanding.
 
 
 

UNPROFITABLE QUESTIONS

Should anyone say that he does not wish to lead the holy life
under the Blessed One, unless the Blessed One first tells him,
whether the world is eternal or temporal, finite or infinite;
whether the life principle is identical with the body, or
something different; whether the Perfect One continues after
death, and so on -- such a man would die, ere the Perfect One
could tell him all this.

It is as if a man were pierced by a poisoned arrow, and his
friends, companions, or near relations, should send for a surgeon;
but that man should say: "I will not have this arrow pulled out,
until I know who the man is that has wounded me: whether he is a
noble, a priest, a citizen, or a servant"; or: "what his name is,
and to what family he belongs"; or: "whether he is tall, or short,
or of medium height." Verily, such a man would die, ere he could
adequately learn all this.

Therefore, the man who seeks his own welfare, should pull out
this arrow -- this arrow of lamentation, pain, and sorrow.

For, whether the theory exists, or whether it does not exist,
that the world is eternal, or temporal, or finite, or infinite --
certainly, there is birth, there is decay, there is death, sorrow,
lamentation, pain, grief, and despair, the extinction of which,
attainable even in this present life, I make known unto you.

There is, for instance, an unlearned worldling, void of regard
for holy men, ignorant of the teaching of holy men, untrained in
the noble doctrine. And his heart is possessed and overcome by
Self-Illusion, by Skepticism, by attachment to mere Rule and
Ritual, by Sensual Lust, and by will; and how to free himself from
these things, he does not really know.

[Self-Illusion may reveal itself as "Eternalism" or
"Eternity-belief" i.e., the belief that one's ego {or self} is
existing independently of the material body, and continuing even
after the dissolution of the latter; or as "Annihilationism," or
"Annihilation-belief" i.e., the materialistic belief that this
present life constitutes the ego {or self}, and hence that it is
annihilated at the death of the material body.]

Not knowing what is worthy of consideration, and what is unworthy
of consideration, he considers the unworthy, and not the worthy.

And unwisely he considers thus: "Have I been in the past? Or.
have I not been in the past? What have I been in the past? How
have I been in the past? From what state into what state did I
change in the past? -- Shall I be in the future? Or, shall I not
be in the future? What shall I be in the future? How shall I be in
the future? From what state into what state shall I change in the
future?" And the present also fills him with doubt: "Am I? Or, am
I not? What am I? How am I? This being, whence has it come?
Whither will it go?"

And with such unwise considerations, he falls into one or other
of the six views, and it becomes his conviction and firm belief:
"I have an ego {or self}"; or: "I have no ego {or self}"; or:
"With the ego {or self} I perceive the ego {or self}"; or: "With
that which is no ego {or self}, I perceive the ego {or self}"; or:
"With the ego {or self} I perceive that which is no ego {or
self}". Or, he falls into the following view: "This my ego {or
self}, which can think and feel, and which, now here, now there,
experiences the fruit of good and evil deeds; this my ego {or
self} is permanent, stable, eternal, not subject to change, and
will thus eternally remain the same."

If there really existed the ego {or self}, there would be also
something which belonged to the ego {or self}. As, however, in
truth and reality, neither the ego {or self}, nor anything
belonging to the ego {or self}, can be found, is it not therefore
really an utter fool's doctrine to say: "This is the world, this
am I; after death, I shall be permanent, persisting, and eternal?"

These are called mere views, a thicket of views, a puppet show of
views, a toil of views, a snare of views; and ensnared in the
fetter of views, the ignorant worldling will not be freed from
rebirth, from decay, and from death, from sorrow, pain, grief, and
despair; he will not be freed, I say, from suffering.
 
 
 

THE SOTAPAN, OR "STREAM-ENTERER"

The learned and noble disciple, however, who has regard for holy
men, knows the teaching of holy men, is well trained in the noble
doctrine, he understands what is worthy of consideration, and what
is unworthy. And knowing this, he considers the worthy, and not
the unworthy. What suffering is, he wisely considers. What the
origin of suffering is, he wisely considers; what the extinction
of suffering is, he wisely considers; what the path is that leads
to the extinction of suffering, he wisely considers.

And by thus considering, three fetters vanish, namely:
Self-illusion, Skepticism, and Attachment to mere Rule and Ritual.

But those disciples in whom these three fetters have vanished
have "entered the Stream," have forever escaped the states of woe,
and are assured of final enlightenment.

More than any earthly power,
More than all the joys of heaven,
More than rule o'er all the world,
Is the Entrance to the Stream.

And, verily, those who are filled with unshaken faith in me, all
those have entered the stream.

There are ten "Fetters" by which beings are bound to the wheel of
existence. They are: Self-Illusion, Skepticism, Attachment to mere
Rule and Ritual, Sensual Lust, Ill-will, Craving for the World of
pure Form, Craving for the Formless World, Conceit, Restlessness,
Ignorance.

A Sotapan, or "Stream-Enterer" i.e. "one who has entered the
stream leading to Nirvana," is free from the first three fetters.

[A Sakadagamin, or "Once-Returned" -- namely to this sensuous
sphere -- has overcome the 4th and 5th fetters in their grosser
form. An Anagamin, or "Non Returner," is wholly freed from the
first five fetters, which bind to rebirth in the sensuous sphere;
after death, whilst living in the sphere of pure form, he will
reach the goal. An Arahat, or perfectly "Holy One," is freed from
all fetters.]
 
 
 

THE TWO UNDERSTANDINGS

Therefore, I say, Right Understanding {or "vision"} is of two
kinds:

1. The view {or observation} that alms and offerings are not
useless; that there is fruit and result, both of good and bad
actions; that there are such things as this life, and the next
life; that father and mother as spontaneously born beings (in the
heavenly worlds) are no mere words; that there are monks and
priests who are spotless and perfect, who can explain this life
and the next life, which they themselves have understood: this is
called the "Mundane Right Understanding," which yields worldly
fruits, and brings good results.

2. But whatsoever there is of wisdom, of penetration, of right
understanding, conjoined with the Path -- the mind being turned
away from the world, and conjoined with the path, the holy path
being turned away from the world, and conjoined with the path, the
holy path being pursued -- this is called the "Ultramundane Right
Understanding," which is not of the world, but is ultramundane,
and conjoined with the Path.

[Thus, there are two kinds of the Eightfold Path: the "mundane,"
practiced by the "worldling"; and the "ultra-mundane," practiced
by the "Noble Ones."]

Now, in understanding wrong understanding as wrong, and right
understanding as right, one practices Right Understanding [1st
step];

and in making efforts to overcome wrong understanding, and to
arouse right understanding, one practices Right Effort [6th step];

and in overcoming wrong understanding with attentive mind, and
dwelling with attentive mind in the possession of right
understanding, one practices Right-Attentiveness [7th step].
Hence, there are three things that accompany and follow upon right
understanding, namely: right understanding, right effort, and
right attentiveness.
 
 
 

COMPLETE DELIVERANCE

Now, if any one should put the question, whether I admit any view
at all, he should be answered thus:

The Perfect One is free from any theory, for the Perfect One has
understood what corporeality is, and how it arises, and passes
away. He has understood what feeling is, and how it arises, and
passes away. He has understood what perception is, and how it
arises, and passes away. He has understood what the mental
formations are, and how they arise, and pass away. He has
understood what consciousness is, and how it arises, and passes
away. Therefore, I say, the Perfect One has won complete
deliverance through the extinction, fading away, disappearance,
rejection, and getting rid of all opinions and conjectures, of all
inclination to the vainglory of "I" and "mine."

Whether Perfect Ones [Buddhas] appear in the world or whether
Perfect Ones do not appear in the world, it still remains a firm
condition, an immutable fact and fixed law: that all formations
are "impermanent" that all formations are "subject to suffering";
that everything is "without an ego {or self}."

[The word sankhara (formations) comprises all things which have a
beginning and an end, the so-called created, or "formed" things,
i.e., all possible physical and mental constituents of existence.]

A corporeal phenomenon, a feeling, a perception, a mental
formation, a consciousness, that is permanent and persistent,
eternal and not subject to change: such a thing the wise men in
this world do not recognize; and I also say, there is no such
thing.

And it is impossible that a being possessed of Right
Understanding should regard anything as the ego {or self}.

Now, if someone should say that Feeling is his ego {or self}, he
should be answered thus: "There are three kinds of feeling:
pleasurable, painful, and indifferent feeling. Which of these
three feelings, now, do you consider your ego {or self}?" At the
moment namely of experiencing one of these feelings one does not
experience the other two. These three kinds of feelings are
impermanent, of dependent origin, are subject to decay and
dissolution, to fading-away and extinction. Whosoever, in
experiencing one of these feelings, thinks that this is his ego
{or self}, will, after the extinction of that feeling, admit that
his ego {or self} has become dissolved. And thus he will consider
his ego {or self} already in this present life as impermanent,
mixed up with pleasure and pain, subject to rising and passing
away.

If any one should say that Feeling is not his ego {or self}, and
that his ego {or self} is inaccessible to feeling, he should be
asked thus: "Now, where there is no feeling, is it there possible
to say: 'This am I?'"

Or, someone might say: "Feeling, indeed, is not my ego {or self},
but it also is untrue that my ego {or self} is inaccessible to
feeling; for it is my ego {or self} that feels, for my ego {or
self} has the faculty of feeling." Such a one should be answered
thus: "Suppose, feeling should become altogether totally
extinguished; now, if there exists, after the extinction of
feeling, no feeling whatever, it is then possible to say: 'This am
I?'"

To say that the mind, or the mind-objects, or the
mind-consciousness, constitute the ego {or self}; such an
assertion is unfounded. For an arising and a passing away is seen
there; and seeing this, one should come to the conclusion that
one's ego {or self} arises and passes away.

It would be better for the unlearned worldling to regard this
body, built up of the four elements, as his ego {or self}, rather
than the mind. For it is evident that this body may last for a
year, for two years, for three years, four, five, or ten years, or
even a hundred years and more; but that which is called thought,
or mind, or consciousness, is continuously, during day and night,
arising as one thing, and passing away as another thing.

Therefore, whatsoever there is of corporeality, of feeling, of
perception, of mental formations, of consciousness, whether one's
own or external, gross or subtle, lofty or low, far or near; there
one should understand according to reality and true wisdom: "This
does not belong to me; this am I not; this is not my ego {or
self}."

[To show the ego {or self} -lessness, utter emptiness of
existence, Visuddhi Magga XVI quotes the following verse:

Mere suffering exists, no sufferer is found;
The deed is, but no doer of the deed is there;
Nirvana is, but not the man that enters it;
The Path is, but no traveler on it is seen.]
 
 

PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE

If, now, any one should ask: "Have you been in the past, and is it
untrue that you have not been? Will you be in the future, and is
it untrue that you will not be? Are you, and is it untrue that you
are not?" -- you may say that you have been in the past, and it is
untrue that you have not been; that you will be in the future, and
it is untrue that you will not be; that you are, and it is untrue
that you are not.

In the past only the past existence was real, but unreal the
future and present existence. In the future only the future
existence will be real, but unreal the past and present existence.
Now only the present existence is real, but unreal the past and
future existence.

Verily, he who perceives the Dependent Origination, perceives the
truth; and he who perceives the truth, perceives the dependent
origination. For, just as from the cow comes milk, from milk
curds, from curds butter, from butter ghee, from ghee the scum of
ghee; and when it is milk, it is not regarded as curds, or butter,
or ghee, or scum of ghee, but only as milk; and when it is curds,
it is only regarded as curds -- just so was my past existence at
that time real, but unreal the future and present existence; and
my future existence will be at one time real, but unreal the past
and present existence; and my present existence is now real, but
unreal the past and future existence. All these are merely popular
designations and expressions, mere conventional terms of speaking,
mere popular notions. The Perfect One, indeed, makes use of these,
without, however, clinging to them.

Thus, he who does not understand corporeality, feeling,
perception, mental formations and consciousness according to
reality

[i.e., as void of a personality, or ego {or self}], and not their
arising, their extinction, and the way to their extinction, he is
liable to believe, either that the Perfect One continues after
death, or that he does not continue after death, and so forth.]

Verily, if one holds the view that the vital principle [Ego {or
self}] is identical with this body, in that case a holy life is
not possible; or, if one holds the view that the vital principle
is something quite different from the body, in that case also a
holy life is not possible. Both these two Extremes the Perfect One
has avoided, and shown the Middle Doctrine, saying:
 
 
 

DEPENDENT ORIGINATION

On Delusion depend the Karma-Formations.

-- On the karma-formations depends Consciousness
[starting with rebirth consciousness in the womb of the
mother].

-- On consciousness depends the Mental and Physical Existence.--
On the mental and physical existence depend the Six
Sense-Organs.--
On the six sense-organs depends the Sensory Impression.--
On the sensory impression depends Feeling.-On feeling depends;
Craving.--
On craving depends Clinging. On clinging depends the Process of
Becoming.--
On the process of becoming [here: karmaprocess] depends Rebirth.

-- On rebirth depend Decay and Death, sorrow,
lamentation, pain, grief and despair.

Thus arises this whole mass of suffering. This is called the noble
truth of the origin of suffering.

In whom, however, Delusion has disappeared and wisdom arisen,
such a disciple heaps up neither meritorious, nor demeritorious,
nor imperturbable Karma-formations.

Thus, through the entire fading away and extinction of this
Delusion, the Karma-Formations are extinguished. Through the
extinction of the Karma formations, Consciousness [rebirth] is
extinguished. Through the extinction of consciousness, the Mental
and Physical Existence is extinguished. Through the extinction of
the mental and physical existence, the six Sense-Organs are
extinguished. Through the extinction of the six sense-organs, the
Sensory Impression is extinguished. Through the extinction of the
sensory impression, Feeling is extinguished. Through the
extinction of feeling, Craving is extinguished. Through the
extinction of craving, Clinging is extinguished. Through the
extinction of clinging, the Process of Becoming is extinguished.
Through the extinction of the process of becoming, Rebirth is
extinguished. Through the extinction of rebirth, Decay and Death,
sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair are extinguished.
Thus takes place the extinction of this whole mass of suffering.
This is called the Noble Truth of the Extinction of Suffering.
 
 
 

KARMA: REBIRTH -- PRODUCING AND BARREN

Verily, because beings, obstructed by Delusion, and ensnared by
Craving, now here now there seek ever fresh delight, therefore
such action comes to ever fresh Rebirth.

And the action that is done out of greed, anger and delusion,
that springs from them, has its source and origin there: this
action ripens wherever one is reborn; and wherever this action
ripens, there one experiences the fruits of this action, be it in
this life, or the next life, or in some future life.

However, through the fading away of delusion through the arising
of wisdom, through the extinction of craving, no future rebirth
takes place again

For the actions, which are not done out of greed, anger and
delusion, which have not sprung from them, which have not their
source and origin there -- such actions are, through the absence
of greed, anger and delusion, abandoned, rooted out, like a
palm-tree torn out of the soil, destroyed, and not liable to
spring up again.

In this respect one may rightly say of me: that I teach
annihilation, that I propound my doctrine for the purpose of
annihilation, and that I herein train my disciples; for,
certainly, I do teach annihilation -- the annihilation, namely, of
greed, anger and delusion, as well as of the manifold evil and
unwholesome things.

["Dependent Origination" is the teaching of the strict conformity
to law of everything that happens, whether in the realm of the
physical, or the psychical. It shows how the totality of
phenomena, physical and mental, the entire phenomenal world that
depends wholly upon the six senses, together with all its
suffering -- and this is the vital point of the teaching: it is
not the mere play of blind chance, but has an existence that is
dependent upon conditions; and that, precisely with the removal of
these conditions, those things that have arisen in dependence upon
them -- thus also all suffering -- must perforce disappear and
cease to be.]
 
 

SECOND STEP

RIGHT MINDEDNESS {OR "THINKING"}

WHAT, now, is Right Mindedness? It is thoughts free from lust;
thoughts free from ill-will; thoughts free from cruelty. This is
called right mindedness.

Now, Right Mindedness, let me tell you, is of two kinds:

1. Thoughts free from lust, from ill-will, and from cruelty: this
is called the "Mundane Right Mindedness," which yields worldly
fruits and brings good results.

2. But, whatsoever there is of thinking, considering, reasoning,
thought, ratiocination, application -- the mind being holy, being
turned away from the world, and conjoined with the path, the holy
path being pursued: these "Verbal Operations" of the mind are
called the "Ultramundane Right Mindedness which is not of the
world, but is ultra mundane, and conjoined with the paths.

Now, in understanding wrong-mindedness as wrong, and
right-mindedness as right, one practices Right Understanding [1st
step]; and in making efforts to overcome evil-mindedness, and to
arouse right-mindedness, one practices Right Effort [6th step];
and in overcoming evil-mindedness with attentive mind, and
dwelling with attentive mind in possession of right-mindedness,
one practices Right Attentiveness [7th step]. Hence, there are
three things that accompany and follow upon right-mindedness,
namely: right understanding, right effort, and right
attentiveness.
 
 

THIRD STEP

RIGHT SPEECH

WHAT, now, is Right Speech? It is abstaining from lying;
abstaining from tale bearing; abstaining from harsh language;
abstaining from vain talk.

There, someone avoids lying, and abstains from it. He speaks the
truth, is devoted to the truth, reliable, worthy of confidence, is
not a deceiver of men. Being at a meeting, or amongst people, or
in the midst of his relatives, or in a society, or in the king's
court, and called upon and asked as witness, to tell what he
knows, he answers, if he knows nothing: "I know nothing"; and if
he knows, he answers: "I know"; if he has seen nothing, he
answers: "I have seen nothing," and if he has seen, he answers: "I
have seen." Thus, he never knowingly speaks a lie, neither for the
sake of his own advantage, nor for the sake of another person's
advantage, nor for the sake of any advantage whatsoever.

He avoids tale-bearing, and abstains from it. What he has heard
here, he does not repeat there, so as to cause dissension there;
and what he heard there, he does not repeat here, so as to cause
dissension here. Thus he unites those that are divided; and those
that are united, he encourages. Concord gladdens him, he delights
and rejoices in concord, and it is concord that he spreads by his
words.

He avoids harsh language, and abstains from it. He speaks such
words as are gentle, soothing to the ear, loving, going to the
heart, courteous and dear, and agreeable to many.

[In Majjhima-Nikaya, No. 21, the Buddha says: "Even, O monks,
should robbers and murderers saw through your limbs and joints,
whoso gave way to anger thereat, would not be following my advice.
For thus ought you to train yourselves:

"'Undisturbed shall our mind remain, no evil words shall escape
our lips; friendly and full of sympathy shall we remain, with
heart full of love, and free from any hidden malice; and that
person shall we penetrate with loving thoughts, wide, deep,
boundless, freed from anger and hatred.'"]

He avoids vain talk, and abstains from it. He speaks at the right
time, in accordance with facts, speaks what is useful, speaks
about the law and the discipline; his speech is like a treasure,
at the right moment accompanied by arguments, moderate and full of
sense.

This is called right speech.

Now, right speech, let me tell you, is of two kinds:

1. Abstaining from lying, from tale-bearing, from harsh language,
and from vain talk; this is called the "Mundane Right Speech,
which yields worldly fruits and brings good results.

2. But the abhorrence of the practice of this four-fold wrong
speech, the abstaining, withholding, refraining therefrom-the mind
being holy, being turned away from the world, and conjoined with
the path, the holy path being pursued: this is called the
"Ultramundane Right Speech, which is not of the world, but is
ultramundane, and conjoined with the paths.

Now, in understanding wrong speech as wrong, and right speech as
right, one practices Right Understanding [1st step); and in making
efforts to overcome evil speech and to arouse right speech, one
practices Right Effort [6th step]; and in overcoming wrong speech
with attentive mind, and dwelling with attentive mind in
possession of right speech, one practices Right Attentiveness [7th
step]. Hence, there are three things that accompany and follow
upon right attentiveness.
 
 
 

FOURTH STEP

RIGHT ACTION

WHAT, now, is Right Action? It is abstaining from killing;
abstaining from stealing; abstaining from unlawful sexual
intercourse.

There, someone avoids the killing of living beings, and abstains
from it. Without stick or sword, conscientious, full of sympathy,
he is anxious for the welfare of all living beings.

He avoids stealing, and abstains from it; what another person
possesses of goods and chattels in the village or in the wood,
that he does not take away with thievish intent.

He avoids unlawful sexual intercourse, and abstains from it. He
has no intercourse with such persons as are still under the
protection of father, mother, brother, sister or relatives, nor
with married women, nor female convicts, nor, lastly, with
betrothed girls.

This is called Right Action.

Now, Right Action, let me tell you, is of two kinds:

1. Abstaining from killing, from stealing, and from unlawful
sexual intercourse - this is called the "Mundane Right Action,
which yields worldly fruits and brings good results.

2. But the abhorrence of the practice of this three-fold wrong
action, the abstaining, withholding, refraining therefrom-the mind
being holy, being turned away from the world, and conjoined with
the path, the holy path being pursued: this is called the
"Ultramundane Right Action," which is not of the world, but is
ultramundane, and conjoined with the paths.

Now, in understanding wrong action as wrong, and right action as
right, one practices Right Understanding [1st step]; and in making
efforts to overcome wrong action, and to arouse right action, one
practices Right Effort [6th step]; and in overcoming wrong action
with attentive mind, and dwelling with attentive mind in
possession of right action, one practices Right Attentiveness [7th
step]. Hence, there are three things that accompany and follow
upon right action, namely: right understanding, right effort, and
right attentiveness.
 
 

FIFTH STEP

RIGHT LIVING

WHAT, now, is Right Living? When the noble disciple, avoiding a
wrong way of living, gets his livelihood by a right way of living,
this is called Right Living.

Now, right living, let me tell you, is of two kinds:

1. When the noble disciple, avoiding wrong living, gets his
livelihood by a right way of living -- this is called the "Mundane
Right Living," which yields worldly fruits and brings good
results.

2. But the abhorrence of wrong living, the abstaining,
withholding, refraining therefrom-the mind being holy, being
turned away from the world, and conjoined with the path, the holy
path being pursued: this is called the "Ultramundane Right
Living," which is not of the world, but is ultramundane, and
conjoined with the paths.

Now, in understanding wrong living as wrong, and right living as
right, one practices Right Understanding [1st step]; and in making
efforts to overcome wrong living, to arouse right living, one
practices Right Effort [6th step]; and in overcoming wrong living
with attentive mind, and dwelling with attentive mind in
possession of right living, one practices Right Attentiveness [7th
step]. Hence, there are three things that accompany and follow
upon right living, namely: right understanding, right effort, and
right attentiveness.
 
 

SIXTH STEP

RIGHT EFFORT

WHAT, now, is Right Effort? There are Four Great Efforts: the
effort to avoid, the effort to overcome, the effort to develop,
and the effort to maintain.

What, now, is the effort to avoid? There, the disciple incites
his mind to avoid the arising of evil, demeritorious things that
have not yet arisen; and he strives, puts forth his energy,
strains his mind and struggles.

Thus, when he perceives a form with the eye, a sound with the
ear, an odor with the nose, a taste with the tongue, a contact
with the body, or an object with the mind, he neither adheres to
the whole, nor to its parts. And he strives to ward off that
through which evil and demeritorious things, greed and sorrow,
would arise, if he remained with unguarded senses; and he watches
over his senses, restrains his senses.

Possessed of this noble "Control over the Senses," he experiences
inwardly a feeling of joy, into which no evil thing can enter.
This is called the effort to avoid.

What, now, is the effort to Overcome? There, the disciple incites
his mind to overcome the evil, demeritorious things that have
already arisen; and he strives, puts forth his energy, strains his
mind and struggles.

He does not retain any thought of sensual lust, ill-will, or
grief, or any other evil and demeritorious states that may have
arisen; he abandons them, dispels them, destroys them, causes them
to disappear.
 
 
 

FIVE METHODS OF EXPELLING EVIL THOUGHTS

If, whilst regarding a certain object, there arise in the
disciple, on account of it, evil and demeritorious thoughts
connected with greed, anger and delusion, then the disciple
should, by means of this object, gain another and wholesome
object. Or, he should reflect on the misery of these thoughts:
"Unwholesome, truly, are these thoughts! Blameable are these
thoughts! Of painful result are these thoughts!" Or, he should pay
no attention to these thoughts. Or, he should consider the
compound nature of these thoughts. Or, with teeth clenched and
tongue pressed against the gums, he should, with his mind,
restrain, suppress and root out these thoughts; and in doing so,
these evil and demeritorious thoughts of greed, anger and delusion
will dissolve and disappear; and the mind will inwardly become
settled and calm, composed and concentrated.

This is called the effort to overcome.

What, now, is the effort to Develop? There the disciple incites
his will to arouse meritorious conditions that have not yet
arisen; and he strives, puts forth his energy, strains his mind
and struggles.

Thus he develops the "Elements of Enlightenment," bent on
solitude, on detachment, on extinction, and ending in deliverance,
namely: Attentiveness, Investigation of the Law, Energy, Rapture,
Tranquility, Concentration, and Equanimity. This is called the
effort to develop.

What, now, is the effort to Maintain? There, the disciple incites
his will to maintain the meritorious conditions that have already
arisen, and not to let them disappear, but to bring them to
growth, to maturity and to the full perfection of development; and
he strives, puts forth his energy, strains his mind and struggles.

Thus, for example, he keeps firmly in his mind a favorable object
of concentration that has arisen, as the mental image of a
skeleton, of a corpse infested by worms, of a corpse blue-black in
color, of a festering corpse, of a corpse riddled with holes, of a
corpse swollen up.

This is called the effort to maintain.

Truly, the disciple who is possessed of faith and has penetrated
the Teaching of the Master, he is filled with the thought: "May
rather skin, sinews and bones wither away, may the flesh and blood
of my body dry up: I shall not give up my efforts so long as I
have not attained whatever is attainable by manly perseverance,
energy and endeavor!"

This is called right effort.

The effort of Avoiding, Overcoming,
Of Developing and Maintaining:
These four great efforts have been shown
By him, the scion of the sun.
And he who firmly clings to them,
May put an end to all the pain.
 
 
 

SEVENTH STEP

RIGHT ATTENTIVENESS {OR "MINDFULNESS"}

WHAT, now, is Right Attentiveness? The only way that leads to the
attainment of purity, to the overcoming of sorrow and lamentation,
to the end of pain and grief, to the entering upon the right path
and the realization of Nirvana, is the "Four Fundamentals of
Attentiveness." And which are these four? In them, the disciple
dwells in contemplation of the Body, in contemplation of Feeling,
in contemplation of the Mind, in contemplation of the
Mind-objects, ardent, clearly conscious and attentive, after
putting away worldly greed and grief.
 
 
 

CONTEMPLATION OF THE BODY

But, how does the disciple dwell in contemplation of the body?
There, the disciple retires to the forest, to the foot of a tree,
or to a solitary place, sits himself down, with legs crossed, body
erect, and with attentiveness fixed before him.

With attentive mind he breathes in, with attentive mind he
breathes out. When making a long inhalation, he knows: "I make a
long inhalation"; when making a long exhalation, he knows: "I make
a long exhalation." when making a short inhalation, he knows: "I
make a short inhalation"; when making a short exhalation, he
knows: "I make a short exhalation." "Clearly perceiving the entire
[breath]-body, I will breathe in": thus he trains himself;
"clearly perceiving the entire [breath]-body, I will breathe out":
thus he trains himself. "Calming this bodily function, I will
breathe In": thus he trains himself; "calming this bodily
function, I will breathe out": thus he trains himself.

Thus he dwells in contemplation of the body, either with regard
to his own person, or to other persons, or to both. He beholds how
the body arises; beholds how it passes away; beholds the arising
and passing away of the body. "A body is there, but no living
being, no individual, no woman, no man, no self, and nothing that
belongs to a self; neither a person, nor anything belonging to a
person" -- this clear consciousness is present in him, because of
his knowledge and mindfulness, and he lives independent,
unattached to anything in the world. Thus does the disciple dwell
in contemplation of the body.

And further, whilst going, standing, sitting, or lying down, the
disciple understands the expressions: "I go"; "I stand"; "I sit";
"I lie down"; he understands any position of the body.

[The disciple understands that it is not a being, a real ego {or
self}, that goes, stands, etc., but that it is by a mere figure of
speech that one says: "I go," "I stand," and so forth.]

And further, the disciple is clearly conscious in his going and
coming; clearly conscious in looking forward and backward; clearly
conscious in bending and stretching; clearly conscious in eating,
drinking, chewing, and tasting; clearly conscious in discharging
excrement and urine; clearly conscious in walking, standing,
sitting, falling asleep and awakening; clearly conscious in
speaking and in keeping silent.

["In all the disciple is doing, he is clearly conscious: of his
intention, of his advantage, of his duty, of the reality."]

And further, the disciple contemplates this body from the sole of
the foot upward, and from the top of the hair downward, with a
skin stretched over it, and filled with manifold impurities: "This
body consists of hairs, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, sinews, bones,
marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, diaphragm, spleen, lungs,
intestines, bowels, stomach, and excrement; of bile, phlegm, pus,
blood, sweat, lymph, tears, semen, spittle, nasal mucus, oil of
the joints, and urine."

Just as if there were a sack, with openings at both ends, filled
with all kinds of grain -- with paddy, beans, sesamum and husked
rice -- and a man not blind opened it and examined its contents,
thus: "That is paddy, these are beans, this is sesamum, this is
husked rice": just so does the disciple investigate this body.

And further, the disciple contemplates this body with regard to
the elements: "This body consists of the solid element, the liquid
element, the heating element and the vibrating element." Just as a
skilled butcher or butcher's apprentice, who has slaughtered a cow
and divided it into separate portions, should sit down at the
junction of four highroads: just so does the disciple contemplate
this body with regard to the elements.

And further, just as if the disciple should see a corpse thrown
into the burial ground, one, two, or three days dead, swollen-up,
blue-black in color, full of corruption he draws the conclusion as
to his own body: "This my body also has this nature, has this
destiny, and cannot escape it." And further, just as if the
disciple should see a corpse thrown into the burial-ground, eaten
by crows, hawks or vultures, by dogs or jackals, or gnawed by all
kinds of worms -- he draws the conclusion as to his own body:
"This my body also has this nature, has this destiny, and cannot
escape it."

And further, just as if the disciple should see a corpse thrown
into the burial ground, a framework of bones, flesh hanging from
it, bespattered with blood, held together by the sinews; a
framework of bones, stripped of flesh, bespattered with blood,
held together by the sinews; a framework of bones, without flesh
and blood, but still held together by the sinews; bones,
disconnected and scattered in all directions, here a bone of the
hand, there a bone of the foot, there a shin bone, there a thigh
bone, there the pelvis, there the spine, there the skull-he draws
the conclusion as to his own body: "This my body also has this
nature, has this destiny, and cannot escape it."

And further, just as if the disciple should see bones lying in
the burial ground, bleached and resembling shells; bones heaped
together, after the lapse of years; bones weathered and crumbled
to dust;-he draws the conclusion as to his own body: "This my body
also has this nature, has this destiny, and cannot escape it."

Thus he dwells in contemplation of the body, either with regard
to his own person, or to other persons, or to both. He beholds how
the body arises; beholds how it passes away; beholds the arising
and passing of the body. "A body is there" -- this clear
consciousness is present in him, because of his knowledge and
mindfulness; and he lives independent, unattached to anything in
the world. Thus does the disciple dwell in contemplation of the
body.
 
 
 

THE TEN BLESSINGS

Once the contemplation of the body is practiced, developed, often
repeated, has become one's habit, one's foundation, is firmly
established, strengthened and well perfected, one may expect ten
blessings:

Over Delight and Discontent one has mastery; one does not allow
himself to be overcome by discontent; one subdues it, as soon as
it arises. One conquers Fear and Anxiety; one does not allow
himself to be overcome by fear and anxiety; one subdues them, as
soon as they arise. One endures cold and heat, hunger and thirst,
wind and sun, attacks by gadflies, mosquitoes and reptiles;
patiently one endures wicked and malicious speech, as well as
bodily pains, that befall one, though they be piercing, sharp,
bitter, unpleasant, disagreeable and dangerous to life. The four
"Trances," the mind bestowing happiness even here: these one may
enjoy at will, without difficulty, without effort.

One may enjoy the different "Magical Powers." With the "Heavenly
Ear," the purified, the super-human, one may hear both kinds of
sounds, the heavenly and the earthly, the distant and the near.
With the mind one may obtain "Insight into the Hearts of Other
Beings of other persons". One may obtain "Remembrance of many
Previous Births." With the "Heavenly Eye," the purified, the
super-human, one may see beings vanish and reappear, the base and
the noble, the beautiful and the ugly, the happy and the
unfortunate; one may perceive how beings are reborn according to
their deeds.

One may, through the "Cessation of Passions," come to know for
oneself, even in this life, the stainless deliverance of mind, the
deliverance through wisdom.
 
 

CONTEMPLATION OF THE FEELINGS

But how does the disciple dwell in contemplation of the feelings?

In experiencing feelings, the disciple knows: "I have an
indifferent agreeable feeling," or "I have a disagreeable
feeling," or "I have an indifferent feeling," or "I have a worldly
agreeable feeling," or "I have an unworldly agreeable feeling," or
"I have a worldly disagreeable feeling," or "I have an unworldly
disagreeable feeling," or "I have a worldly indifferent feeling,"
or "I have an unworldly indifferent feeling".

Thus he dwells in contemplation of the feelings, either with
regard to his own person, or to other persons, or to both. He
beholds how the feelings arise; beholds how they pass away;
beholds the arising and passing away of the feelings. "Feelings
are there": this clear consciousness is present in him, because of
his knowledge and mindfulness; and he lives independent,
unattached to anything in the world. Thus does the disciple dwell
in contemplation of the feelings.

[The disciple understands that the expression "I feel" has no
validity except as an expression of common speech; he understands
that, in the absolute sense, there are only feelings, and that
there is no ego {or self}, no person, no experience of the
feelings.]
 
 
 

CONTEMPLATION OF THE MIND

But how does the disciple dwell in contemplation of the mind? The
disciple knows the greedy mind as greedy, and the not greedy mind
as not greedy; knows the angry mind as angry, and the not angry
mind as not angry; knows the deluded mind as deluded, and the
undeluded mind as undeluded. He knows the cramped mind as cramped,
and the scattered mind as scattered; knows the developed mind as
developed, and the undeveloped mind as undeveloped; knows the
surpassable mind as surpassable, and the unsurpassable mind as
unsurpassable; knows the concentrated mind as concentrated, and
the unconcentrated mind as unconcentrated; knows the freed mind as
freed, and the unfreed mind as unfreed.

["Mind" is here used as a collective for the moments of
consciousness. Being identical with consciousness, it should not
be translated by "thought." "Thought" and "thinking" correspond
rather to the so-called "verbal operations of the mind"; they are
not, like consciousness, of primary, but of secondary nature, and
are entirely absent in all sensuous consciousness, as well as in
the second, third and fourth Trances. (See eighth step).]

Thus he dwells in contemplation of the mind, either with regard
to his own person, or to other persons, or to both. He beholds how
consciousness arises; beholds how it passes away; beholds the
arising and passing away of consciousness. "Mind is there"; this
clear consciousness is present in him, because of his knowledge
and mindfulness; and he lives independent, unattached to anything
in the world. Thus does the disciple dwell in contemplation of the
mind.
 
 
 

CONTEMPLATION OF MENTAL PHENOMENA (MIND-OBJECTS)

But how does the disciple dwell in contemplation of the mental
phenomena? First, the disciple dwells in contemplation of the
phenomen, of the "Five Hindrances."

He knows when there is "Lust" in him: "In me is lust"; knows when
there is "Anger" in him: "In me is anger"; knows when there is
"Torpor and Drowsiness" in him: "In me is torpor and drowsiness";
knows when there is "Restlessness and Mental Worry" in him: "In me
is restlessness and mental worry"; knows when there are "Doubts"
in him: "In me are doubts." He knows when these hindrances are not
in him: "In me these hindrances are not." He knows how they come
to arise; knows how, once arisen, they are overcome; knows how,
once overcome, they do not rise again in the future.

[For example, Lust arises through unwise thinking on the
agreeable and delightful. It may be suppressed by the following
six methods: fixing the mind upon an idea that arouses disgust;
contemplation of the loathsomeness of the body; controlling one's
six senses; moderation in eating; friendship with wise and good
men; right instruction. Lust is forever extinguished upon entrance
into Anagamiship; Restlessness is extinguished by reaching
Arahatship; Mental Worry, by reaching Sotapanship.]

And further: the disciple dwells in contemplation of the
phenomena, of the five Groups of Existence. He knows what
Corporeality is, how it arises, how it passes away; knows what
Feeling is, how it arises, how it away; knows what Perception is,
how it arises, how it passes away; knows what the Mental
Formations are, how they arise, how they pass away; knows what
Consciousness is, how it arises, how it passes away.

And further: the disciple dwells in contemplation of the
phenomena of the six Subjective-Objective Sense-Bases. He knows
eye and visual objects, ear and sounds, nose and odors, tongue and
tastes, body and touches, mind and mind objects; and the fetter
that arises in dependence on them, he also knows. He knows how the
fetter comes to arise, knows how the fetter is overcome, and how
the abandoned fetter does not rise again in future.

And further: the disciple dwells in contemplation of the
phenomena of the seven Elements of Enlightenment. The disciple
knows when there is Attentiveness in him; when there is
Investigation of the Law in him; when there is Energy in him; when
there is Enthusiasm in him; when there is Tranquility in him; when
there is Concentration in him; when there is Equanimity in him. He
knows when it is not in him, knows how it comes to arise, and how
it is fully developed.

And further: the disciple dwells in contemplation of the
phenomena of the Four Noble Truths. He knows according to reality,
what Suffering is; knows according to reality, what the Origin of
Suffering is; knows according to reality, what the Extinction of
Suffering is; knows according to reality, what the Path is that
leads to the Extinction of Suffering.

Thus he dwells in contemplation of the mental phenomena, either
with regard to his own person, or to other persons, or to both. He
beholds how the phenomena arise; beholds how they pass away;
beholds the arising and passing away of the phenomena. "Phenomena
are there": this consciousness is present in him because of his
knowledge and mindfulness; and he lives independent, unattached to
anything in the world. Thus does the disciple dwell in
contemplation of the phenomena.

The only way that leads to the attainment of purity, to the
overcoming of sorrow and lamentation, to the end of pain and
grief, to the entering upon the right path, and the realization of
Nirvana, is these four fundamentals of attentiveness.
 
 
 

NIRVANA THROUGH WATCHING OVER BREATHING

"Watching over In- and Out-breathing" practiced and developed,
brings the four Fundamentals of Attentiveness to perfection; the
four fundamentals of attentiveness, practiced and developed bring
the seven Elements of Enlightenment to perfection; the seven
elements of enlightenment, practiced and developed, bring Wisdom
and Deliverance to perfection.

But how does Watching over In- and Out-breathing, practiced and
developed, bring the four Fundamentals of Attentiveness to
perfection?

I. Whenever the disciple is conscious in making a long inhalation
or exhalation, or in making a short inhalation or exhalation, or
is training himself to inhale or exhale whilst feeling the whole
[breath]-body, or whilst calming down this bodily function -- at
such a time the disciple is dwelling in "contemplation of the
body," of energy, clearly conscious, attentive, after subduing
worldly greed and grief. For, inhalation and exhalation I call one
amongst the corporeal phenomena.

II. Whenever the disciple is training himself to inhale or exhale
whilst feeling rapture, or joy, or the mental functions, or whilst
calming down the mental functions -- at such a time he is dwelling
in "contemplation of the feelings," full of energy, clearly
conscious, attentive, after subduing worldly greed and grief. For,
the full awareness of In- and outbreathing I call one amongst the
feelings.

III. Whenever the disciple is training himself to inhale or
exhale whilst feeling the mind, or whilst gladdening the mind or
whilst concentrating the mind, or whilst setting the mind free --
at such a time he is dwelling in "contemplation of the mind," full
of energy, clearly conscious, attentive, after subduing worldly
greed and grief. For, without attentiveness and clear
consciousness, I say, there is no watching over in- and
out-breathing.

IV. Whenever the disciple is training himself to inhale or exhale
whilst contemplating impermanence, or the fading away of passion,
or extinction, or detachment -- at such a time he is dwelling in
"contemplation of the phenomena," full of energy, clearly
conscious, attentive, after subduing worldly greed and grief.

Watching over In- and Out-breathing, thus practiced and
developed, brings the four Fundamentals of Attentiveness to
perfection.

But how do the four Fundamentals of Attentiveness, practiced and
developed, bring the seven Elements of Enlightenment to full
perfection?

Whenever the disciple is dwelling in contemplation of body,
feeling, mind and phenomena, strenuous, clearly conscious,
attentive, after subduing worldly greed and grief -- at such a
time his attentiveness is undisturbed; and whenever his
attentiveness is present and undisturbed, at such a time he has
gained and is developing the Element of Enlightenment
"Attentiveness"; and thus this element of enlightenment reaches
fullest perfection.

And whenever, whilst dwelling with attentive mind, he wisely
investigates, examines and thinks over the Law -- at such a time
he has gained and is developing the Element of Enlightenment
"Investigation of the Law"; and thus this element of enlightenment
reaches fullest perfection.

And whenever, whilst wisely investigating, examining and thinking
over the law, his energy is firm and unshaken -- at such a time he
has gained and is developing the Element of Enlightenment
"Energy"; and thus this element of enlightenment reaches fullest
perfection.

And whenever in him, whilst firm in energy, arises supersensuous
rapture -- at such a time he has gained and is developing the
Element of Enlightenment "Rapture"; and thus this element of
enlightenment reaches fullest perfection.

And whenever, whilst enraptured in mind, his spiritual frame and
his mind become tranquil -- at such a time he has gained and is
developing the Element of Enlightenment "Tranquility"; and thus
this element of enlightenment reaches fullest perfection.

And whenever, whilst being tranquilized in his spiritual frame
and happy, his mind becomes concentrated -- at such a time he has
gained and is developing the Element of Enlightenment
"Concentration; and thus this element of enlightenment reaches
fullest perfection.

And whenever he thoroughly looks with indifference on his mind
thus concentrated -- at such a time he has gained and is
developing the Element of Enlightenment "Equanimity."

The four fundamentals of attentiveness, thus practiced and
developed, bring the seven elements of enlightenment to full
perfection.

But how do the seven elements of enlightenment, practiced and
developed, bring Wisdom and Deliverance to full perfection?

There, the disciple is developing the elements of enlightenment:
Attentiveness, Investigation of the Law, Energy, Rapture,
Tranquility, Concentration and Equanimity, bent on detachment, on
absence of desire, on extinction and renunciation.

Thus practiced and developed, do the seven elements of
enlightenment bring wisdom and deliverance to full perfection.

Just as the elephant hunter drives a huge stake into the ground
and chains the wild elephant to it by the neck, in order to drive
out of him his wonted forest ways and wishes, his forest
unruliness, obstinacy and violence, and to accustom him to the
environment of the village, and to teach him such good behavior as
is required amongst men: in like manner also has the noble
disciple to fix his mind firmly to these four fundamentals of
attentiveness, so that he may drive out of himself his wonted
worldly ways and wishes, his wonted worldly unruliness, obstinacy
and violence, and win to the True, and realize Nirvana.
 
 

EIGHTH STEP

RIGHT CONCENTRATION

WHAT, now, is Right Concentration? Fixing the mind to a single
object ("One pointedness of mind"): this is concentration.

The four Fundamentals of Attentiveness (seventh step): these are
the objects of concentration.

The four Great Efforts (sixth step): these are the requisites for
concentration.

The practicing, developing and cultivating of these things: this
is the "Development" of concentration.

[Right Concentration has two degrees of development:

[1. "Neighborhood-Concentration," which approaches the first
trance, without however attaining it; and

[2. "Attainment Concentration," which is the concentration
present in the four trances. The attainment of the trances,
however, is not a requisite for the realization of the Four
Ultramundane Paths of Holiness; and neither
Neighborhood-Concentration nor Attainment-Concentration, as such,
in any way possesses the power of conferring entry into the Four
Ultramundane Paths; hence, in them is really no power to free
oneself permanently from evil things. The realization of the Four
Ultramundane Paths is possible only at the moment of insight into
the impermanency, miserable nature, and impersonality of
phenomenal process of existence. This insight is attainable only
during Neighborhood-Concentration, not during
Attainment-Concentration.

[He who has realized one or other of the Four Ultramundane Paths
without ever having attained the Trances, is called a
"Dry-visioned One," or one whose passions are "dried up by
Insight." He, however, who after cultivating the Trances has
reached one of the Ultramundane Paths, is called "one who has
taken tranquility as his vehicle."]
 
 
 

THE FOUR TRANCES

Detached from sensual objects, detached from unwholesome things,
the disciple enters into the first trance, which is accompanied by
"Verbal Though," and "Rumination," is born of "Detachment," and
filled with "Rapture," and "Happiness."

This first trance is free from five things, and five things are
present. When the disciple enters the first trance, there have
vanished [the 5 Hindrances]: Lust, Ill will, Torpor and Dullness,
Restlessness and Mental Worry, Doubts; and there are present:
Verbal Thought, Rumination, Rapture, Happiness, and Concentration.

And further: after the subsiding of verbal thought and
rumination, and by the gaining of inward tranquility and oneness
of mind, he enters into a state free from verbal thought and
rumination, the second trance, which is born of Concentration, and
filled with Rapture and Happiness.

And further: after the fading away of rapture, he dwells in
equanimity, attentive, clearly conscious; and he experiences in
his person that feeling, of which the Noble Ones say: "Happy lives
the man of equanimity and attentive mind" -- thus he enters the
third trance.

And further: after the giving up of pleasure and pain, and
through the disappearance of previous joy and grief, he enters
into a state beyond pleasure and pain, into the fourth trance,
which is purified by equanimity and attentiveness.

[The four Trances may be obtained by means of Watching over In-
and Out breathing, as well as through the fourth sublime
meditation, the "Meditation of Equanimity," and others.

[The three other Sublime Meditations of "Loving Kindness,"
"Compassion", and "Sympathetic Joy" may lead to the attainment of
the first three Trances. The "Cemetery Meditations," as well as
the meditation "On Loathsomeness," will produce only the First
Trance.

[The "Analysis of the Body," and the Contemplation on the Buddha,
the Law, the Holy Brotherhood, Morality, etc., will only produce
Neighborhood Concentration.]

Develop your concentration: for he who has concentration
understands things according to their reality. And what are these
things? The arising and passing away of corporeality, of feeling,
perception, mental formations and consciousness.

Thus, these five Groups of Existence must be wisely penetrated;
Delusion and Craving must be wisely abandoned; Tranquility and
Insight must be wisely developed.

This is the Middle Path which the Perfect One has discovered,
which makes one both to see and to know, and which leads to peace,
to discernment, to enlightenment, to Nirvana.

And following upon this path, you will put an end to suffering.
 
 
 

DEVELOPMENT OF THE EIGHTFOLD PATH IN THE DISCIPLE

CONFIDENCE AND RIGHT-MINDEDNESS (2ND STEP)

SUPPOSE a householder, or his son, or someone reborn in any
family, hears the law; and after hearing the law he is filled with
confidence in the Perfect One. And filled with this confidence, he
thinks: "Full of hindrances is household life, a refuse heap; but
pilgrim life is like the open air. Not easy is it, when one lives
at home, to fulfill in all points the rules of the holy life. How,
if now I were to cut off hair and beard, put on the yellow robe
and go forth from home to the homeless life?" And in a short time,
having given up his more or less extensive possessions, having
forsaken a smaller or larger circle of relations, he cuts off hair
and beard, puts on the yellow robe, and goes forth from home to
the homeless life.
 
 
 

MORALITY (3RD, 4TH, 5TH STEP)

Having thus left the world, he fulfills the rules of the monks. He
avoids the killing of living beings and abstains from it. Without
stick or sword, conscientious, full of sympathy, he is anxious for
the welfare of all living beings.-

He avoids stealing, and abstains from taking what is not given to
him. Only what is given to him he takes, waiting till it is given;
and he lives with a heart honest and pure.-

He avoids unchastity, living chaste, resigned, and keeping aloof
from sexual intercourse, the vulgar way.-

He avoids lying and abstains from it. He speaks the truth, is
devoted to the truth, reliable, worthy of confidence, is not a
deceiver of men.-

He avoids tale-bearing and abstains from it. What he has heard
here, he does not repeat there, so as to cause dissension there;
and what he has heard there, he does not repeat here, so as to
cause dissension here. Thus he unites those that are divided, and
those that are united he encourages; concord gladdens him, he
delights and rejoices in concord, and it is concord that he
spreads by his words.-

He avoids harsh language and abstains from it. He speaks such
words as are gentle, soothing to the ear, loving, going to the
heart, courteous and dear, and agreeable to many.-

He avoids vain talk and abstains from it. He speaks at the right
time, in accordance with facts, speaks what is useful, speaks
about the law and the disciple; his speech is like a treasure, at
the right moment accompanied by arguments, moderate, and full of
sense.

He keeps aloof from dance, song, music and the visiting of shows;
rejects flowers, perfumes, ointments, as well as every kind of
adornment and embellishment. High and gorgeous beds he does not
use. Gold and silver he does not accept. Raw corn and meat he does
not accept. Women and girls he does not accept. He owns no male
and female slaves, owns no goats, sheep, fowls, pigs, elephants,
cows or horses, no land and goods. He does not go on errands and
do the duties of a messenger. He keeps aloof from buying and
selling things. He has nothing to do with false measures, metals
and weights. He avoids the crooked ways of bribery, deception and
fraud. He keeps aloof from stabbing, beating, chaining, attacking,
plundering and oppressing.

He contents himself with the robe that protects his body, and
with the alms with which he keeps himself alive. Wherever he goes,
he is provided with these two things; just as a winged bird, in
flying, carries his wings along with him. By fulfilling this noble
Domain of Morality he feels in his heart an irreproachable
happiness.
 
 
 

CONTROL OF THE SENSES (6TH STEP)

Now, in perceiving a form with the eye -- a sound with the ear --
an odor with the nose -- a taste with the tongue -- a touch with
the body -- an object with his mind, he sticks neither to the
whole, nor to its details. And he tries to ward off that which, by
being unguarded in his senses, might give rise to evil and
unwholesome states, to greed and sorrow; he watches over his
senses, keep his senses under control. By practicing this noble
"Control of the Senses" he feels in his heart an unblemished
happiness.
 
 
 

ATTENTIVENESS AND CLEAR CONSCIOUSNESS (7TH STEP)

Clearly conscious is he in his going and coming; clearly conscious
in looking forward and backward; clearly conscious in bending and
stretching his body; clearly conscious in eating, drinking,
chewing and tasting; dearly conscious in discharging excrement and
urine; clearly conscious in walking, standing, sitting, falling
asleep and awakening; clearly conscious in speaking and keeping
silent.

Now, being equipped with this lofty Morality, equipped with this
noble Control of the Senses, and filled with this noble
"Attentiveness and Clear Consciousness", he chooses a secluded
dwelling in the forest, at the foot of a tree, on a mountain, in a
cleft, in a rock cave, on a burial ground, on a woody table-land,
in the open air, or on a heap of straw. Having returned from his
alms-round, after the meal, he sits himself down with legs
crossed, body erect, with attentiveness fixed before him.
 
 
 

ABSENCE OF THE FIVE HINDRANCES

He has cast away Lust; he dwells with a heart free from lust; from
lust he cleanses his heart.

He has cast away Ill-will; he dwells with a heart free from
ill-will; cherishing love and compassion toward all living beings,
he cleanses his heart from ill-will.

He has cast away Torpor and Dullness; he dwells free from torpor
and dullness; loving the light, with watchful mind, with clear
consciousness, he cleanses his mind from torpor and dullness.

He has cast away Restlessness and Mental Worry; dwelling with
mind undisturbed, with heart full of peace, he cleanses his mind
from restlessness and mental worry.

He has cast away Doubt; dwelling free from doubt, full of
confidence in the good, he cleanses his heart from doubt.
 
 
 

THE TRANCES (8TH STEP)

He has put aside these five Hindrances and come to know the
paralyzing corruptions of the mind. And far from sensual
impressions, far from unwholesome things, he enters into the Four
Trances.
 
 
 

INSIGHT (1ST STEP)

But whatsoever there is of feeling, perception, mental formation,
or consciousness -- all these phenomena he regards as
"impermanent," "subject to pain," as infirm, as an ulcer, a thorn,
a misery, a burden, an enemy, a disturbance, as empty and "void of
an ego {or self}"; and turning away from these things, he directs
his mind towards the abiding, thus: "This, verily, is the Peace,
this is the Highest, namely the end of all formations, the
forsaking of every substratum of rebirth, the fading away of
craving; detachment, extinction: Nirvana." And in this state he
reaches the "Cessation of Passions."
 
 
 

NIRVANA

And his heart becomes free from sensual passion, free from the
passion for existence, free from the passion of ignorance. "Freed
am I!": this knowledge arises in the liberated one; and he knows:
"Exhausted is rebirth, fulfilled the Holy Life; what was to be
done, has been done; naught remains more for this world to do."

Forever am I liberated,
This is the last time that I'm born,
No new existence waits for me.

This, verily, is the highest, holiest wisdom: to know that all
suffering has passed away.

This, verily, is the highest, holiest peace: appeasement of
greed, hatred and delusion.
 
 
 

THE SILENT THINKER

"I am" is a vain thought; "I am not" a vain thought; "I shall be"
is a vain thought; "I shall not be" is a vain thought. Vain
thoughts are a sickness, an ulcer, a thorn. But after overcoming
all vain thoughts, one is called "silent thinker." And the
thinker, the Silent One, does no more arise, no more pass away, no
more tremble, no more desire. For there is nothing in him that he
should arise again. And as he arises no more, how should he grow
old again? And as he grows no more old, how should he die again?
And as he dies no more, how should he tremble? And as he trembles
no more, how should he have desire?
 
 
 

THE TRUE GOAL

Hence, the purpose of the Holy Life does not consist in acquiring
alms, honor, or fame, nor in gaining morality, concentration, or
the eye of knowledge. That unshakable deliverance of the heart:
that, verily, is the object of the Holy Life, that is its essence,
that is its goal.

And those, who formerly, in the past, were Holy and Enlightened
Ones, those Blessed Ones also have pointed out to their disciples
this self-same goal, as has been pointed out by me to my
disciples. And those, who afterwards, in the future, will be Holy
and Enlightened Ones, those Blessed Ones also will point out to
their disciples this self-same goal, as has been pointed out by me
to my disciples.

However, Disciples, it may be that (after my passing away) you
might think: "Gone is the doctrine of our Master. We have no
Master more." But you should not think; for the Law and the
Discipline, which I have taught you, will, after my death, be your
master.

The Law be your light,
The Law be your refuge!
Do not look for any other refuge!

Disciples, the doctrines, which I advised you to penetrate, you
should well preserve, well guard, so that this Holy Life may take
its course and continue for ages, for the weal and welfare of the
many, as a consolation to the world, for the happiness, weal and
welfare of heavenly beings and men.
 
 
 

THE END.

THE FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS

and

THE EIGHTFOLD PATH

 
 
 

THUS has it been said by the Buddha, the Enlightened One: It is
through not understanding, not realizing four things, that I,
Disciples, as well as you, had to wander so long through this
round of rebirths. And what are these four things? They are the
Noble Truth of Suffering, the Noble Truth of the Origin of
Suffering, the Noble Truth of the Extinction of Suffering, the
Noble Truth of the Path that leads to the Extinction of Suffering.

As long as the absolutely true knowledge and insight as regards
these Four Noble Truths was not quite clear in me, so long was I
not sure whether I had won that supreme Enlightenment which is
unsurpassed in all the world with its heavenly beings, evil
spirits and gods, amongst all the hosts of ascetics and priests,
heavenly beings and men. But as soon as the absolutely true
knowledge and insight as regards these Four Noble Truths had
become perfectly clear in me, there arose in me the assurance that
I had won that supreme Enlightenment unsurpassed.

And I discovered that-profound truth, so difficult to perceive,
difficult to understand, tranquilizing and sublime, which is not
to be gained by mere reasoning, and is visible only to the wise.

The world, however, is given to pleasure, delighted with
pleasure, enchanted with pleasure. Verily, such beings will hardly
understand the law of conditionality, the Dependent Origination of
every thing; incomprehensible to them will also be the end of all
formations, the forsaking of every substratum of rebirth, the
fading away of craving; detachment, extinction, Nirvana.

Yet there are beings whose eyes are only a little covered with
dust: they will understand the truth.
 
 
 

FIRST TRUTH

THE NOBLE TRUTH OF SUFFERING

WHAT, now, is the Noble Truth of Suffering?

Birth is suffering; Decay is suffering; Death is suffering;
Sorrow, Lamentation, Pain, Grief, and Despair, are suffering; not
to get what one desires, is suffering; in short: the Five Groups
of Existence are suffering.

What, now, is Birth? The birth of beings belonging to this or
that order of beings, their being born, their conception and
springing into existence, the manifestation of the groups of
existence, the arising of sense activity -- this is called Birth.

And what is Decay? The decay of beings belonging to this or that
order of beings; their getting aged, frail, grey, and wrinkled;
the failing of their vital force, the wearing out of the senses --
this is called Decay.

And what is Death? The parting and vanishing of beings out of
this or that order of beings, their destruction, disappearance,
death, the completion of their life-period, dissolution of the
groups of existence, the discarding of the body -- this is called
Death.

And what is Sorrow? The sorrow arising through this or that loss
or misfortune which one encounters, the worrying oneself, the
state of being alarmed, inward sorrow, inward woe -- this is
called Sorrow.

And what is Lamentation? Whatsoever, through this or that loss or
misfortune which befalls one, is wail and lament, wailing and
lamenting, the state of woe and lamentation -- this is called
Lamentation.

And what is Pain? The bodily pain and unpleasantness, the painful
and unpleasant feeling produced by bodily contact -- this is
called Pain.

And what is Grief? The mental pain and unpleasantness, the
painful and unpleasant feeling produced by mental contact -- this
is called Grief.

And what is Despair? Distress and despair arising through this or
that loss or misfortune which one encounters, distressfulness, and
desperation -- this is called Despair.

And what is the "suffering of not getting what one desires?" To
beings subject to birth there comes the desire: "O that we were
not subject to birth! O that no new birth was before us!" Subject
to decay, disease, death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and
despair, the desire comes to them: "O that we were not subject to
these things! O that these things were not before us!" But this
cannot be got by mere desiring; and not to get what one desires,
is suffering.
 
 
 

THE FIVE GROUPS OF EXISTENCE

And what, in brief, are the Five Groups of Existence? They are
Corporeality, Feeling, Perception, [mental] Formations, and
Consciousness.

Any corporeal phenomenon, whether one's own or external, gross or
subtle, lofty or low, far or near, belongs to the Group of
Corporeality; any feeling {=emotion?} belongs to the Group of
Feeling; any perception belongs to the Group of Perception; any
mental formation {=abstract thought?} belongs to the Group of
Formations; all consciousness belongs to the Group of
Consciousness.

[Our so-called individual existence is in reality nothing but a
mere process of these "bodily and mental" phenomena, which since
immemorial times was going on before one's apparent birth, and
which also after death will continue for immemorial periods of
time. In the following, we shall see that these five Groups, or
Khandhas -- either taken separately, or combined -- in no way
constitute any real "Ego {or self}-entity," and that no ego {or
self}-entity exists apart from them, and hence that the belief in
an ego {or self}-entity is merely an illusion. Just as that which
we designate by the name of "chariot," has no existence apart from
axle, wheels, shaft, and so forth: or as the word "house" is
merely a convenient designation for various materials put together
after a certain fashion so as to enclose a portion of space, and
there is no separate house-entity in existence: in exactly the
same way, that which we call a "being," or an "individual," or a
"person," or by the name, is nothing but a changing combination of
physical and psychical phenomena, and has no real existence in
itself.]
 
 

THE "CORPOREALITY GROUP" OF FOUR ELEMENTS

What, now, is the Group of Corporeality? It is the four primary
elements, and Corporeality derived from them.

And what are the four primary elements? They are the Solid
Element, the Fluid Element, the Heating Element, the Vibrating
Element. {earth, water, fire and air, in Greek terminology}

[The four elements, or -- to speak more correctly -- the four
elementary qualities of matter, may be rendered in English as:
Inertia, Cohesion, Radiation, and Vibration.

The twenty-four corporeal phenomena which depend upon them are,
according to the Abhidharma: eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, visible
form, sound, odor, taste, masculinity, femininity, vitality, organ
of thinking, gesture, speech, space (cavities of ear, nose, etc.),
agility, elasticity, adaptability, growth, duration, decay,
variability, change of substance.]

1. What, now, is the Solid Element? The solid element may be
one's own, or it may be external. And what is one's own solid
element? The dependent properties, which on one's own person and
body are hard and solid, as the hairs of head and body, nails,
teeth, skin, flesh, sinews, bones, marrow, kidneys, heart, liver,
diaphragm, spleen, lungs, stomach, bowels, mesentery, excrement,
or whatever other dependent properties which on one's own person
and body are hard and solid -- this is called one's own solid
element. Now, whether it be one's own solid element, or whether it
be the external solid element, they are both only the solid
element.

And one should understand, according to reality, and true wisdom:
"This does not belong to me; this am I not; this is not my ego {or
self}, {this is not my self}."

2. What, now, is the Fluid Element? The fluid element may be
one's own, or it may be external. And what is one own fluid
element? The dependent properties, which on one's own person and
body are watery or cohesive, as bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat,
lymph, tears, semen, spit, nasal mucus, oil of the joints, urine
or whatever other dependent properties which on one own person and
body are watery or cohesive -- this is called one's own fluid
element. Now, whether it be one's own fluid element, or whether it
be the external fluid element, they are both only the fluid
element.

And one should understand, according to reality, and true wisdom:
"This does not belong to me; this am I not; this is not my ego {or
self}."

3. What, now, is the Heating Element? The heating element may be
one own, or it may be external. And what is one's own heating
element? The dependent properties, which on one's own person and
body are heating and radiating, as that whereby one is heated,
consumed, scorched, whereby that which has been eaten, drunk,
chewed, or tasted, is fully digested; or whatever other dependent
properties, which on one's own person and body are heating and
radiating this is called one's own heating element. Now, whether
it be one's own heating element, or whether it be the external
heating element, they are both only the heating element.

And one should understand, according to reality, and true wisdom:
"This does not belong to me; this am I not; this is not my ego {or
self}."

4. What, now, is the Vibrating Element? The vibrating element may
be one's own, or it may be external. And what is one's own
vibrating element? The dependent properties, which on one's own
person and body are mobile and gaseous, as the upward-going and
downward-going winds; the winds of stomach and intestines;
in-breathing and out-breathing; or whatever other dependent
properties, which on one's own person and body are mobile and
gaseous-this is called one's own vibrating element. Now, whether
it be one's own vibrating element, or whether it be the external
vibrating element, they are both only the vibrating element.

And one should understand, according to reality, and true wisdom:
"This does not belong to me; this am I not; this is not my ego {or
self}."

Just as one calls "hut" the circumscribed space which comes to be
by means of wood and rushes, reeds, and clay, even so we call
"body" the circumscribed space that comes to be by means of bones
and sinews, flesh and skin.
 
 

DEPENDENT ORIGINATION OF CONSCIOUSNESS

Now, though one's eye be intact, yet if the external forms do not
fall within the field of vision, and no corresponding conjunction
takes place, in that case there occurs no formation of the
corresponding aspect of consciousness. Or, though one eye be
intact, and the external forms fall within the field of vision,
yet if no corresponding conjunction takes place, in that case also
there occurs no formation of the corresponding aspect of
consciousness. If, however, one's eye is intact, and the external
forms fall within the field of vision, and the corresponding
conjunction takes place, in that case there arises the
corresponding aspect of consciousness.

Hence, I say: the arising of consciousness is dependent upon
conditions; and without these conditions, no consciousness arises.
And upon whatsoever conditions the arising of consciousness is
dependent, after these it is called.

Consciousness whose arising depends on the eye and forms, is
called "eye consciousness."

Consciousness whose arising depends on the ear and sound, is
called "ear consciousness."

Consciousness whose arising depends on the olfactory organ and
odors, is called "nose-consciousness."

Consciousness whose arising depends on the tongue and taste, is
called "tongue-consciousness."

Consciousness whose arising depends on the body and bodily
contacts, is called "body-consciousness."

Consciousness whose arising depends on the mind and ideas, is
called "mind consciousness."

Whatsoever there is of "corporeality" in the consciousness thus
arisen, that belongs to the Group of Corporeality. Whatsoever
there is of "feeling" -- bodily ease, pain, joy, sadness, or
indifferent feeling -- belongs to the Group of Feeling. Whatsoever
there is of "perception" -- visual objects, sounds, odors, tastes,
bodily impressions, or mind objects -- belongs to the Group of
Perception. Whatsoever there are of mental "formations"
impression, volition, etc. -- belong to the Group of mental
Formations. Whatsoever there is of "consciousness" therein,
belongs to the Group of Consciousness.

And it is impossible that any one can explain the passing out of
one existence, and the entering into a new existence, or the
growth, increase, and development of consciousness, independent of
corporeality, feeling, perception, and mental formations.
 
 
 

THE THREE CHARACTERISTICS OF EXISTENCE

All formations are "transient"; all formations are "subject to
suffering"; all things are "without an ego {or self}-entity."
Corporeality is transient, feeling is transient, perception is
transient, mental formations are transient, consciousness is
transient.

And that which is transient, is subject to suffering; and of that
which is transient, and subject to suffering and change, one
cannot rightly say: "This belongs to me; this am I; this is my ego
{or self}."

Therefore, whatever there be of corporeality, of feeling,
perception, mental formations, or consciousness, whether one's own
or external, whether gross or subtle, lofty or low, far or near,
one should understand, according to reality, and true wisdom:
"This does not belong to me; this am I not; this is not my ego {or
self}."

Suppose, a man who is not blind, were to behold the many bubbles
on the Ganges as they are driving along; and he should watch them,
and carefully examine them. After carefully examining them, they
will appear to him empty, unreal, and unsubstantial. In exactly
the same way, does the disciple behold all the corporeal
phenomena, feelings, perceptions, mental formations, and states of
consciousness-whether they be of the past, or the present, or the
future, far, or near. And he watches them, and examines them
carefully; and, after carefully examining them, they appear to him
empty, void, and without an ego {or self}

Whoso delights in corporeality, or feeling, or perception, or
mental formations, or consciousness, he delights in suffering; and
whoso delights in suffering, will not be freed from suffering.
Thus I say:

How can you find delight and mirth,
Where there is burning without end?
In deepest darkness you are wrapped!
Why do you not seek for the light?
Look at this puppet here, well rigged,
A heap of many sores, piled up,
Diseased, and full of greediness,
Unstable, and impermanent!
Devoured by old age is this frame,
A prey of sickness, weak and frail;
To pieces breaks this putrid body,
All life must truly end in death.
 
 
 

THE THREE WARNINGS

Did you never see in the world a man, or a woman, eighty, ninety,
or a hundred years old, frail, crooked as a gable roof, bent down,
resting on crutches, with tottering steps, infirm, youth long
since fled, with broken teeth, grey and scanty hair, or
bald-headed, wrinkled, with blotched limbs? And did the thought
never come to you that also you are subject to decay, that also
you cannot escape it?

Did you never see in the world a man, or a woman, who being sick,
afflicted, and grievously ill, and wallowing in his own filth, was
lifted up by some people, and put to bed by others? And did the
thought never come to you that also you are subject to disease,
that also you cannot escape it?

Did you never see in the world the corpse of a man, or a woman,
one, or two, or three days after death, swollen up, blue-black in
color, and full of corruption? And did the thought never come to
you that also you are subject to death, that also you cannot
escape it?
 
 
 

SAMSARA, THE WHEEL OF EXISTENCE

Inconceivable is the beginning of this Samsara; not to be
discovered is any first beginning of beings, who, obstructed by
ignorance, and ensnared by craving, are hurrying and hastening
through this round of rebirths.

[Samsara -- the Wheel of Existence, lit., the "Perpetual
Wandering" -- is the name by which is designated the sea of life
ever restlessly heaving up and down, the symbol of this continuous
process of ever again and again being born, growing old,
suffering, and dying. More precisely put: Samsara is the unbroken
chain of the fivefold Khandha-combinations, which, constantly
changing from moment to moment, follow continuously one upon the
other through inconceivable periods of time. Of this Samsara, a
single lifetime constitutes only a vanishingly tiny fraction;
hence, to be able to comprehend the first noble truth, one must
let one's gaze rest upon the Samsara, upon this frightful chain of
rebirths, and not merely upon one single lifetime, which, of
course, may be sometimes not very painful.]

Which do you think is the more: the flood of tears, which weeping
and wailing you have shed upon this long way -- hurrying and
hastening through this round of rebirths, united with the
undesired, separated from the desired this, or the waters of the
four oceans?

Long time have you suffered the death of father and mother, of
sons, daughters, brothers, and sisters. And whilst you were thus
suffering, you have, verily, shed more tears upon this long way
than there is water in the four oceans.

Which do you think is the more: the streams of blood that,
through your being beheaded, have flowed upon this long way, or
the waters in the four oceans?

Long time have you been caught as dacoits, or highwaymen, or
adulterers; and, through your being beheaded, verily, more blood
has flowed upon this long way than there is water in the four
oceans.

But how is this possible?

Inconceivable is the beginning of this Samsara; not to be
discovered is any first beginning of beings, who, obstructed by
ignorance, and ensnared by craving, are hurrying and hastening
through this round of rebirths.

And thus have you long time undergone suffering, undergone
torment, undergone misfortune, and filled the graveyards full;
verily, long enough to be dissatisfied with all the forms of
existence, long enough to turn away, and free yourselves from them
all.
 
 
 

SECOND TRUTH

THE NOBLE TRUTH OF THE ORIGIN OF SUFFERING

WHAT, now, is the Noble Truth of the Origin of Suffering? It is
that craving which gives rise to fresh rebirth, and, bound up with
pleasure and lust, now here, now there, finds ever fresh delight.

[In the absolute sense, it is no real being, no self-determined,
unchangeable, ego {or self}-entity that is reborn. Moreover, there
is nothing that remains the same even for two consecutive moments;
for the Five Khandhas, or Groups of Existence, are in a state of
perpetual change, of continual dissolution and renewal. They die
every moment, and every moment new ones are born. Hence it follows
that there is no such thing as a real existence, or "being" (Latin
esse), but only as it were an endless process, a continuous
change, a "becoming," consisting in a "producing," and in a "being
produced"; in a "process of action," and in a "process of
reaction," or "rebirth."

This process of perpetual "producing" and "being produced" may
best be compared with an ocean wave. In the case of a wave, there
is not the slightest quantity of water traveling over the surface
of the sea. But the wave structure, that hastens over the surface
of the water, creating the appearance of one and the same mass of
water, is, in reality, nothing but the continuous rising and
falling of continuous, but quite different, masses of water,
produced by the transmission of force generated by the wind. Even
so, the Buddha did not teach that ego {or self}-entities hasten
through the ocean of rebirth, but merely life-waves, which,
according to their nature and activities (good, or evil), manifest
themselves here as men, there as animals, and elsewhere as
invisible beings.]
 
 
 

THE THREEFOLD CRAVING

There is the "Sensual Craving," the "Craving for
Eternal-Annihilation." "Existence," the "Craving for
Self-Annihilation."

[The "Craving for Eternal Existence," according to the
Visuddhi-Magga, is intimately connected with the so-called
"Eternity-Belief," i.e., the belief in an absolute, eternal, ego
{or self}-entity persisting independently of our body.

The Craving for Self-Annihilation is the outcome of the so-called
"Annihilation-Belief," the delusive materialistic notion of an ego
{or self} which is annihilated at death, and which does not stand
in any causal relation with the time before birth or after death.]

But, where does this craving arise and take root? Wherever in the
world there are delightful and pleasurable things, there this
craving arises and takes root. Eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and
mind, are delightful and pleasurable: there this craving arises
and takes root.

Visual objects, sounds, smells, tastes, bodily impressions, and
mind-objects, are delightful and pleasurable: there this craving
arises and takes root.

Consciousness, sense impression, feeling born of sense
impression, perception, will, craving, thinking, and reflecting,
are delightful and pleasurable: there this craving arises and
takes root.

If, namely, when perceiving a visual object, a sound, odor,
taste, bodily impression, or a mind object, the object is
pleasant, one is attracted; and if unpleasant, one is repelled.

Thus, whatever kind of "Feeling" one experiences, pleasant,
unpleasant, or indifferent -- one approves of, and cherishes the
feeling, and clings to it; and while doing so, lust springs up;
but lust for feelings, means Clinging; and on Clinging, depends
the "Process of Becoming"; on the Process of Becoming
(Karma-process), depends (future) "Birth"; and dependent on Birth,
are Decay and Death, Sorrow, Lamentation, Pain, Grief, and
Despair. Thus arises this whole mass of suffering.

This is called the Noble Truth of the Origin of Suffering.
 
 
 

HEAPING UP OF PRESENT SUFFERING

Verily, due to sensuous craving, conditioned through sensuous
craving, impelled by sensuous craving, entirely moved by sensuous
craving, kings fight with kings, princes with princes, priests
with priests, citizens with citizens; the mother quarrels with the
son, the son with the mother, the father with the son, the son
with the father; brother quarrels with brother, brother with
sister, sister with brother, friend with friend. Thus, given to
dissension, quarreling and fighting, they fall upon one another
with fists, sticks, or weapons. And thereby they suffer death or
deadly pain.

And further, due to sensuous craving, conditioned through
sensuous craving, impelled by sensuous craving, entirely moved by
sensuous craving, people break into houses, rob, plunder, pillage
whole houses, commit highway robbery, seduce the wives of others.
Then, the rulers have such people caught, and inflict on them
various forms of punishment. And thereby they incur death or
deadly pain. Now, this is the misery of sensuous craving, the
heaping up of suffering in this present life, due to sensuous
craving, conditioned through sensuous craving, caused by sensuous
craving, entirely dependent on sensuous craving.
 
 
 

HEAPING UP OF FUTURE SUFFERING

And further, people take the evil way in deeds, the evil way in
words, the evil way in thoughts; and by taking the evil way in
deeds, words, and thoughts, at the dissolution of the body, after
death, they fall into a downward state of existence, a state of
suffering, into perdition, and the abyss of hell. But, this is the
misery of sensuous craving, the heaping up of suffering in the
future life, due to sensuous craving, conditioned through sensuous
craving, caused by sensuous craving, entirely dependent on
sensuous craving.

Not in the air, nor ocean-midst,
Nor hidden in the mountain clefts,
Nowhere is found a place on earth,
Where man is freed from evil deeds.
 
 

INHERITANCE OF DEEDS (KARMA)

For, owners of their deeds (karma) are the beings, heirs of their
deeds; their deeds are the womb from which they sprang; with their
deeds they are bound up; their deeds are their refuge. Whatever
deeds they do-good or evil-of such they will be the heirs.

And wherever the beings spring into existence, there their deeds
will ripen; and wherever their deeds ripen, there they will earn
the fruits of those deeds, be it in this life, or be it in the
next life, or be it in any other future life.

There will come a time, when the mighty ocean will dry up,
vanish, and be no more. There will come a time, when the mighty
earth will be devoured by fire, perish, and be no more. But, yet
there will be no end to the suffering of beings, who, obstructed
by ignorance, and ensnared by craving, are hurrying and hastening
through this round of rebirths.
 
 
 

THIRD TRUTH

THE NOBLE TRUTH OF THE EXTINCTION OF SUFFERING

WHAT, now, is the Noble Truth of the Extinction of Suffering? It
is the complete fading away and extinction of this craving, its
forsaking and giving up, the liberation and detachment from it.

But where may this craving vanish, where may it be extinguished?
Wherever in the world there are delightful and pleasurable things,
there this craving may vanish, there it may be extinguished.

Be it in the past, present, or future, whosoever of the monks or
priests regards the delightful and pleasurable things in the world
as "impermanent," "miserable," and "without an ego {or self}," as
a disease and cancer; it is he who overcomes the craving.

And released from Sensual Craving, released from the Craving for
Existence, he does not return, does not enter again into
existence.
 
 
 

DEPENDENT EXTINCTION OF ALL PHENOMENA

For, through the total fading away and extinction of Craving,
Clinging is extinguished; through the extinction of clinging, the
Process of Becoming is extinguished; through the extinction of the
(karmic) process of becoming, Rebirth is extinguished; and through
the extinction of rebirth, Decay and Death, Sorrow, Lamentation,
Suffering, Grief, and Despair, are extinguished. Thus comes about
the extinction of this whole mass of suffering.

Hence, the annihilation, cessation, and overcoming of
corporeality, feeling, perception, mental formations, and
consciousness, this is the extinction of suffering, the end of
disease, the overcoming of old age and death.

[The undulatory motion, which we call wave -- which in the
spectator creates the illusion of a single mass of water moving
over the surface of the lake -- is produced and fed by the wind,
and maintained by the stored-up energies. After the wind has
ceased, and no fresh wind again whips up the water, the stored-up
energies will gradually be consumed, and the whole undulatory
motion come to an end. Similarly, if fire does not get new fuel,
it will become extinct. just so, this Five-Khandha-process --
which, in the ignorant worldling, creates the illusion of an ego
{or self}-entity -- is produced and fed by the life affirming
craving, and maintained for some time by means of the stored-up
life energies. Now, after the fuel, i.e., the craving and clinging
to life, has ceased, and no new craving impels again this
Five-Khandha-process, life will continue as long as there are
still life-energies stored up, but at their destruction at death,
the Five-Khandha-process will reach final extinction.

Thus, Nirvana or "Extinction" (Sanskrit: to cease blowing, to
become extinct), may be considered under two aspects:

1. "Extinction of Impurities," reached at the attainment of
Arahatship, or Holiness, which takes place during the life-time.

2. "Extinction of the Five-Khandha-process," which takes place at
the death of the Arahat.]
 
 
 

NIRVANA

This, truly, is the Peace, this is the Highest, namely the end of
all formations, the forsaking of every substratum of rebirth, the
fading away of craving: detachment, extinction-Nirvana.

Enraptured with lust, enraged with anger, blinded by delusion,
overwhelmed, with mind ensnared, man aims at his own ruin, at
others' ruin, at the ruin of both parties, and he experiences
mental pain and grief. But, if lust, anger, and delusion are given
up, man aims neither at his own ruin, nor at others' ruin, nor at
the ruin of both parties, and he experiences no mental pain and
grief. Thus is Nirvana immediate, visible in this life, inviting,
attractive, and comprehensible to the wise.

The extinction of greed, the extinction of anger, the extinction
of delusion: this, indeed, is called Nirvana.
 
 
 

THE ARAHAT, OR HOLY ONE

And for a disciple thus freed, in whose heart dwells peace, there
is nothing to be added to what has been done, and naught more
remains for him to do. Just as a rock of one solid mass remains
unshaken by the wind, even so, neither forms, nor sounds, nor
odors, nor tastes, nor contacts of any kind, neither the desired,
nor the undesired, can cause such an one to waver. Steadfast is
his mind, gained is deliverance.

And he who has considered all the contrasts on this earth, and is
no more disturbed by anything whatever in the world, the Peaceful
One, freed from rage, from sorrow, and from longing, he has passed
beyond birth and decay.
 
 
 

THE IMMUTABLE

There is a realm, where there is neither the solid, nor the fluid,
neither heat, nor motion {air}, neither this world, nor any other
world, neither sun, nor moon. This I call neither arising, nor
passing away, neither standing still nor being born, nor dying.
There is neither foothold, nor development, nor any basis. This is
the end of suffering.

There is an Unborn, Unoriginated, Uncreated, Unformed. If there
were not this Unborn, this Unoriginated, this Uncreated, this
Unformed, escape from the world of the born, the originated, the
created, the formed, would not be possible.

But since there is an Unborn, Unoriginated, Uncreated, Unformed,
therefore is escape possible from the world of the born, the
originated, the created, the formed.
 
 
 

FOURTH TRUTH

THE NOBLE TRUTH OF THE PATH HAT LEADS TO THE EXTINCTION OF
SUFFERING

THE TWO EXTREMES AND THE MIDDLE PATH

TO GIVE oneself up to indulgence in sensual pleasure, the base,
common, vulgar, unholy, unprofitable; and also to give oneself up
to self-mortification, the painful, unholy, unprofitable: both
these two extremes the Perfect One has avoided, and found out the
Middle Path, which makes one both to see and to know, which leads
to peace, to discernment, to enlightenment, to Nirvana.
 
 
 

THE EIGHTFOLD PATH

It is the Noble Eightfold Path, the way that leads to the
extinction of suffering, namely:

1. Right Understanding,
2. Right Mindedness,
... which together are Wisdom.
3. Right Speech,
4. Right Action,
5. Right Living,
... which together are Morality.
6. Right Effort,
7. Right Attentiveness,
8. Right Concentration,
...which together are Concentration.

This is the Middle Path which the Perfect One has found out,
which makes one both to see and to know, which leads to peace, to
discernment, to enlightenment, to Nirvana.

Free from pain and torture is this path, free from groaning and
suffering; it is the perfect path.

Truly, like this path there is no other path to the purity of
insight. If you follow this path, you will put an end to
suffering.

But each one has to struggle for himself, the Perfect Ones have
only pointed out the way.

Give ear then, for the Immortal is found. I reveal, I set forth
the Truth. As I reveal it to you, so act! And that supreme goal of
the holy life, for the sake of which, sons of good families
rightly go forth from home to the homeless state: this you will,
in no long time, in this very life, make known to yourself,
realize, and make your own.
 
 
 

THE EIGHTFOLD PATH

FIRST STEP

RIGHT UNDERSTANDING {OR "VISION"}

WHAT, now, is Right Understanding {or "vision"}? It is
understanding {or "seeing") the Four Truths. To understand {or
"see"} suffering; to understand {or "see"} the origin of
suffering; to understand {or "see"} the extinction of suffering;
to understand {or "see"} the path that leads to the extinction of
suffering: This is called Right Understanding {or "vision"}.

Or, when the noble disciple understands {or "sees"} what is
karmically wholesome, and the root of wholesome karma; what is
karmically unwholesome, and the root of unwholesome karma, then he
has Right Understanding {or "vision"}.

["Karmically unwholesome" is every volitional act of body,
speech, or mind which is rooted in greed, hatred, or delusion, and
produces evil and painful results in this or any future form of
existence.]

What, now, is "karmically unwholesome?"

In Bodily Action it is destruction of living beings {killing};
stealing; and unlawful {="unrighteous"?} sexual intercourse
{="adultery", in Biblical terms}. In Verbal Action it is lying
(cf.: "Thou shalt not bear false witness"}; tale-bearing; harsh
language; and frivolous talk {cf: "Thou shalt not take the name of
the Lord in vain"}. In Mental Action it is covetousness {cf.:
"Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, etc."}; ill-will; and
wrong views.

And what is the root of unwholesome karma? Greed is a root of
unwholesome karma; Anger is a root of unwholesome karma; Delusion
is a root of unwholesome karma.

[The state of greed, as well as that of anger, is always
accompanied by delusion; and delusion, ignorance, is the primary
root of all evil.]

Therefore, I say, these demeritorious actions are of three kinds:
either due to greed, or due to anger, or due to delusion.

What, now, is "karmically wholesome?"

In Bodily Action it is to abstain from killing; to abstain from
stealing; and to abstain from unlawful sexual intercourse.

In Verbal Action it is to abstain from lying; to abstain from
tale-bearing; to abstain from harsh language; and to abstain from
frivolous talk.

In Mental Action it is absence of covetousness; absence of
ill-will; and right understanding.

{Cf.: "Humata, Hukhta, Huvarshta" or "Good thoughts", "Good
words" and "Good deeds" in Zarathushtrianism}.

And what is the root of wholesome karma? Absence of greed
(unselfishness) is a root of wholesome karma; absence of anger
(benevolence) is a root of wholesome karma; absence of delusion
(wisdom) is a root of wholesome karma.

Or, when one understands that corporeality, feeling, perception,
mental formation, and consciousness, are transient [subject to
suffering, and without an ego {or self}], also in that case one
possesses Right Understanding.
 
 
 

UNPROFITABLE QUESTIONS

Should anyone say that he does not wish to lead the holy life
under the Blessed One, unless the Blessed One first tells him,
whether the world is eternal or temporal, finite or infinite;
whether the life principle is identical with the body, or
something different; whether the Perfect One continues after
death, and so on -- such a man would die, ere the Perfect One
could tell him all this.

It is as if a man were pierced by a poisoned arrow, and his
friends, companions, or near relations, should send for a surgeon;
but that man should say: "I will not have this arrow pulled out,
until I know who the man is that has wounded me: whether he is a
noble, a priest, a citizen, or a servant"; or: "what his name is,
and to what family he belongs"; or: "whether he is tall, or short,
or of medium height." Verily, such a man would die, ere he could
adequately learn all this.

Therefore, the man who seeks his own welfare, should pull out
this arrow -- this arrow of lamentation, pain, and sorrow.

For, whether the theory exists, or whether it does not exist,
that the world is eternal, or temporal, or finite, or infinite --
certainly, there is birth, there is decay, there is death, sorrow,
lamentation, pain, grief, and despair, the extinction of which,
attainable even in this present life, I make known unto you.

There is, for instance, an unlearned worldling, void of regard
for holy men, ignorant of the teaching of holy men, untrained in
the noble doctrine. And his heart is possessed and overcome by
Self-Illusion, by Skepticism, by attachment to mere Rule and
Ritual, by Sensual Lust, and by will; and how to free himself from
these things, he does not really know.

[Self-Illusion may reveal itself as "Eternalism" or
"Eternity-belief" i.e., the belief that one's ego {or self} is
existing independently of the material body, and continuing even
after the dissolution of the latter; or as "Annihilationism," or
"Annihilation-belief" i.e., the materialistic belief that this
present life constitutes the ego {or self}, and hence that it is
annihilated at the death of the material body.]

Not knowing what is worthy of consideration, and what is unworthy
of consideration, he considers the unworthy, and not the worthy.

And unwisely he considers thus: "Have I been in the past? Or.
have I not been in the past? What have I been in the past? How
have I been in the past? From what state into what state did I
change in the past? -- Shall I be in the future? Or, shall I not
be in the future? What shall I be in the future? How shall I be in
the future? From what state into what state shall I change in the
future?" And the present also fills him with doubt: "Am I? Or, am
I not? What am I? How am I? This being, whence has it come?
Whither will it go?"

And with such unwise considerations, he falls into one or other
of the six views, and it becomes his conviction and firm belief:
"I have an ego {or self}"; or: "I have no ego {or self}"; or:
"With the ego {or self} I perceive the ego {or self}"; or: "With
that which is no ego {or self}, I perceive the ego {or self}"; or:
"With the ego {or self} I perceive that which is no ego {or
self}". Or, he falls into the following view: "This my ego {or
self}, which can think and feel, and which, now here, now there,
experiences the fruit of good and evil deeds; this my ego {or
self} is permanent, stable, eternal, not subject to change, and
will thus eternally remain the same."

If there really existed the ego {or self}, there would be also
something which belonged to the ego {or self}. As, however, in
truth and reality, neither the ego {or self}, nor anything
belonging to the ego {or self}, can be found, is it not therefore
really an utter fool's doctrine to say: "This is the world, this
am I; after death, I shall be permanent, persisting, and eternal?"

These are called mere views, a thicket of views, a puppet show of
views, a toil of views, a snare of views; and ensnared in the
fetter of views, the ignorant worldling will not be freed from
rebirth, from decay, and from death, from sorrow, pain, grief, and
despair; he will not be freed, I say, from suffering.
 
 
 

THE SOTAPAN, OR "STREAM-ENTERER"

The learned and noble disciple, however, who has regard for holy
men, knows the teaching of holy men, is well trained in the noble
doctrine, he understands what is worthy of consideration, and what
is unworthy. And knowing this, he considers the worthy, and not
the unworthy. What suffering is, he wisely considers. What the
origin of suffering is, he wisely considers; what the extinction
of suffering is, he wisely considers; what the path is that leads
to the extinction of suffering, he wisely considers.

And by thus considering, three fetters vanish, namely:
Self-illusion, Skepticism, and Attachment to mere Rule and Ritual.

But those disciples in whom these three fetters have vanished
have "entered the Stream," have forever escaped the states of woe,
and are assured of final enlightenment.

More than any earthly power,
More than all the joys of heaven,
More than rule o'er all the world,
Is the Entrance to the Stream.

And, verily, those who are filled with unshaken faith in me, all
those have entered the stream.

There are ten "Fetters" by which beings are bound to the wheel of
existence. They are: Self-Illusion, Skepticism, Attachment to mere
Rule and Ritual, Sensual Lust, Ill-will, Craving for the World of
pure Form, Craving for the Formless World, Conceit, Restlessness,
Ignorance.

A Sotapan, or "Stream-Enterer" i.e. "one who has entered the
stream leading to Nirvana," is free from the first three fetters.

[A Sakadagamin, or "Once-Returned" -- namely to this sensuous
sphere -- has overcome the 4th and 5th fetters in their grosser
form. An Anagamin, or "Non Returner," is wholly freed from the
first five fetters, which bind to rebirth in the sensuous sphere;
after death, whilst living in the sphere of pure form, he will
reach the goal. An Arahat, or perfectly "Holy One," is freed from
all fetters.]
 
 
 

THE TWO UNDERSTANDINGS

Therefore, I say, Right Understanding {or "vision"} is of two
kinds:

1. The view {or observation} that alms and offerings are not
useless; that there is fruit and result, both of good and bad
actions; that there are such things as this life, and the next
life; that father and mother as spontaneously born beings (in the
heavenly worlds) are no mere words; that there are monks and
priests who are spotless and perfect, who can explain this life
and the next life, which they themselves have understood: this is
called the "Mundane Right Understanding," which yields worldly
fruits, and brings good results.

2. But whatsoever there is of wisdom, of penetration, of right
understanding, conjoined with the Path -- the mind being turned
away from the world, and conjoined with the path, the holy path
being turned away from the world, and conjoined with the path, the
holy path being pursued -- this is called the "Ultramundane Right
Understanding," which is not of the world, but is ultramundane,
and conjoined with the Path.

[Thus, there are two kinds of the Eightfold Path: the "mundane,"
practiced by the "worldling"; and the "ultra-mundane," practiced
by the "Noble Ones."]

Now, in understanding wrong understanding as wrong, and right
understanding as right, one practices Right Understanding [1st
step];

and in making efforts to overcome wrong understanding, and to
arouse right understanding, one practices Right Effort [6th step];

and in overcoming wrong understanding with attentive mind, and
dwelling with attentive mind in the possession of right
understanding, one practices Right-Attentiveness [7th step].
Hence, there are three things that accompany and follow upon right
understanding, namely: right understanding, right effort, and
right attentiveness.
 
 
 

COMPLETE DELIVERANCE

Now, if any one should put the question, whether I admit any view
at all, he should be answered thus:

The Perfect One is free from any theory, for the Perfect One has
understood what corporeality is, and how it arises, and passes
away. He has understood what feeling is, and how it arises, and
passes away. He has understood what perception is, and how it
arises, and passes away. He has understood what the mental
formations are, and how they arise, and pass away. He has
understood what consciousness is, and how it arises, and passes
away. Therefore, I say, the Perfect One has won complete
deliverance through the extinction, fading away, disappearance,
rejection, and getting rid of all opinions and conjectures, of all
inclination to the vainglory of "I" and "mine."

Whether Perfect Ones [Buddhas] appear in the world or whether
Perfect Ones do not appear in the world, it still remains a firm
condition, an immutable fact and fixed law: that all formations
are "impermanent" that all formations are "subject to suffering";
that everything is "without an ego {or self}."

[The word sankhara (formations) comprises all things which have a
beginning and an end, the so-called created, or "formed" things,
i.e., all possible physical and mental constituents of existence.]

A corporeal phenomenon, a feeling, a perception, a mental
formation, a consciousness, that is permanent and persistent,
eternal and not subject to change: such a thing the wise men in
this world do not recognize; and I also say, there is no such
thing.

And it is impossible that a being possessed of Right
Understanding should regard anything as the ego {or self}.

Now, if someone should say that Feeling is his ego {or self}, he
should be answered thus: "There are three kinds of feeling:
pleasurable, painful, and indifferent feeling. Which of these
three feelings, now, do you consider your ego {or self}?" At the
moment namely of experiencing one of these feelings one does not
experience the other two. These three kinds of feelings are
impermanent, of dependent origin, are subject to decay and
dissolution, to fading-away and extinction. Whosoever, in
experiencing one of these feelings, thinks that this is his ego
{or self}, will, after the extinction of that feeling, admit that
his ego {or self} has become dissolved. And thus he will consider
his ego {or self} already in this present life as impermanent,
mixed up with pleasure and pain, subject to rising and passing
away.

If any one should say that Feeling is not his ego {or self}, and
that his ego {or self} is inaccessible to feeling, he should be
asked thus: "Now, where there is no feeling, is it there possible
to say: 'This am I?'"

Or, someone might say: "Feeling, indeed, is not my ego {or self},
but it also is untrue that my ego {or self} is inaccessible to
feeling; for it is my ego {or self} that feels, for my ego {or
self} has the faculty of feeling." Such a one should be answered
thus: "Suppose, feeling should become altogether totally
extinguished; now, if there exists, after the extinction of
feeling, no feeling whatever, it is then possible to say: 'This am
I?'"

To say that the mind, or the mind-objects, or the
mind-consciousness, constitute the ego {or self}; such an
assertion is unfounded. For an arising and a passing away is seen
there; and seeing this, one should come to the conclusion that
one's ego {or self} arises and passes away.

It would be better for the unlearned worldling to regard this
body, built up of the four elements, as his ego {or self}, rather
than the mind. For it is evident that this body may last for a
year, for two years, for three years, four, five, or ten years, or
even a hundred years and more; but that which is called thought,
or mind, or consciousness, is continuously, during day and night,
arising as one thing, and passing away as another thing.

Therefore, whatsoever there is of corporeality, of feeling, of
perception, of mental formations, of consciousness, whether one's
own or external, gross or subtle, lofty or low, far or near; there
one should understand according to reality and true wisdom: "This
does not belong to me; this am I not; this is not my ego {or
self}."

[To show the ego {or self} -lessness, utter emptiness of
existence, Visuddhi Magga XVI quotes the following verse:

Mere suffering exists, no sufferer is found;
The deed is, but no doer of the deed is there;
Nirvana is, but not the man that enters it;
The Path is, but no traveler on it is seen.]
 
 

PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE

If, now, any one should ask: "Have you been in the past, and is it
untrue that you have not been? Will you be in the future, and is
it untrue that you will not be? Are you, and is it untrue that you
are not?" -- you may say that you have been in the past, and it is
untrue that you have not been; that you will be in the future, and
it is untrue that you will not be; that you are, and it is untrue
that you are not.

In the past only the past existence was real, but unreal the
future and present existence. In the future only the future
existence will be real, but unreal the past and present existence.
Now only the present existence is real, but unreal the past and
future existence.

Verily, he who perceives the Dependent Origination, perceives the
truth; and he who perceives the truth, perceives the dependent
origination. For, just as from the cow comes milk, from milk
curds, from curds butter, from butter ghee, from ghee the scum of
ghee; and when it is milk, it is not regarded as curds, or butter,
or ghee, or scum of ghee, but only as milk; and when it is curds,
it is only regarded as curds -- just so was my past existence at
that time real, but unreal the future and present existence; and
my future existence will be at one time real, but unreal the past
and present existence; and my present existence is now real, but
unreal the past and future existence. All these are merely popular
designations and expressions, mere conventional terms of speaking,
mere popular notions. The Perfect One, indeed, makes use of these,
without, however, clinging to them.

Thus, he who does not understand corporeality, feeling,
perception, mental formations and consciousness according to
reality

[i.e., as void of a personality, or ego {or self}], and not their
arising, their extinction, and the way to their extinction, he is
liable to believe, either that the Perfect One continues after
death, or that he does not continue after death, and so forth.]

Verily, if one holds the view that the vital principle [Ego {or
self}] is identical with this body, in that case a holy life is
not possible; or, if one holds the view that the vital principle
is something quite different from the body, in that case also a
holy life is not possible. Both these two Extremes the Perfect One
has avoided, and shown the Middle Doctrine, saying:
 
 
 

DEPENDENT ORIGINATION

On Delusion depend the Karma-Formations.

-- On the karma-formations depends Consciousness
[starting with rebirth consciousness in the womb of the
mother].

-- On consciousness depends the Mental and Physical Existence.--
On the mental and physical existence depend the Six
Sense-Organs.--
On the six sense-organs depends the Sensory Impression.--
On the sensory impression depends Feeling.-On feeling depends;
Craving.--
On craving depends Clinging. On clinging depends the Process of
Becoming.--
On the process of becoming [here: karmaprocess] depends Rebirth.

-- On rebirth depend Decay and Death, sorrow,
lamentation, pain, grief and despair.

Thus arises this whole mass of suffering. This is called the noble
truth of the origin of suffering.

In whom, however, Delusion has disappeared and wisdom arisen,
such a disciple heaps up neither meritorious, nor demeritorious,
nor imperturbable Karma-formations.

Thus, through the entire fading away and extinction of this
Delusion, the Karma-Formations are extinguished. Through the
extinction of the Karma formations, Consciousness [rebirth] is
extinguished. Through the extinction of consciousness, the Mental
and Physical Existence is extinguished. Through the extinction of
the mental and physical existence, the six Sense-Organs are
extinguished. Through the extinction of the six sense-organs, the
Sensory Impression is extinguished. Through the extinction of the
sensory impression, Feeling is extinguished. Through the
extinction of feeling, Craving is extinguished. Through the
extinction of craving, Clinging is extinguished. Through the
extinction of clinging, the Process of Becoming is extinguished.
Through the extinction of the process of becoming, Rebirth is
extinguished. Through the extinction of rebirth, Decay and Death,
sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair are extinguished.
Thus takes place the extinction of this whole mass of suffering.
This is called the Noble Truth of the Extinction of Suffering.
 
 
 

KARMA: REBIRTH -- PRODUCING AND BARREN

Verily, because beings, obstructed by Delusion, and ensnared by
Craving, now here now there seek ever fresh delight, therefore
such action comes to ever fresh Rebirth.

And the action that is done out of greed, anger and delusion,
that springs from them, has its source and origin there: this
action ripens wherever one is reborn; and wherever this action
ripens, there one experiences the fruits of this action, be it in
this life, or the next life, or in some future life.

However, through the fading away of delusion through the arising
of wisdom, through the extinction of craving, no future rebirth
takes place again

For the actions, which are not done out of greed, anger and
delusion, which have not sprung from them, which have not their
source and origin there -- such actions are, through the absence
of greed, anger and delusion, abandoned, rooted out, like a
palm-tree torn out of the soil, destroyed, and not liable to
spring up again.

In this respect one may rightly say of me: that I teach
annihilation, that I propound my doctrine for the purpose of
annihilation, and that I herein train my disciples; for,
certainly, I do teach annihilation -- the annihilation, namely, of
greed, anger and delusion, as well as of the manifold evil and
unwholesome things.

["Dependent Origination" is the teaching of the strict conformity
to law of everything that happens, whether in the realm of the
physical, or the psychical. It shows how the totality of
phenomena, physical and mental, the entire phenomenal world that
depends wholly upon the six senses, together with all its
suffering -- and this is the vital point of the teaching: it is
not the mere play of blind chance, but has an existence that is
dependent upon conditions; and that, precisely with the removal of
these conditions, those things that have arisen in dependence upon
them -- thus also all suffering -- must perforce disappear and
cease to be.]
 
 

SECOND STEP

RIGHT MINDEDNESS {OR "THINKING"}

WHAT, now, is Right Mindedness? It is thoughts free from lust;
thoughts free from ill-will; thoughts free from cruelty. This is
called right mindedness.

Now, Right Mindedness, let me tell you, is of two kinds:

1. Thoughts free from lust, from ill-will, and from cruelty: this
is called the "Mundane Right Mindedness," which yields worldly
fruits and brings good results.

2. But, whatsoever there is of thinking, considering, reasoning,
thought, ratiocination, application -- the mind being holy, being
turned away from the world, and conjoined with the path, the holy
path being pursued: these "Verbal Operations" of the mind are
called the "Ultramundane Right Mindedness which is not of the
world, but is ultra mundane, and conjoined with the paths.

Now, in understanding wrong-mindedness as wrong, and
right-mindedness as right, one practices Right Understanding [1st
step]; and in making efforts to overcome evil-mindedness, and to
arouse right-mindedness, one practices Right Effort [6th step];
and in overcoming evil-mindedness with attentive mind, and
dwelling with attentive mind in possession of right-mindedness,
one practices Right Attentiveness [7th step]. Hence, there are
three things that accompany and follow upon right-mindedness,
namely: right understanding, right effort, and right
attentiveness.
 
 

THIRD STEP

RIGHT SPEECH

WHAT, now, is Right Speech? It is abstaining from lying;
abstaining from tale bearing; abstaining from harsh language;
abstaining from vain talk.

There, someone avoids lying, and abstains from it. He speaks the
truth, is devoted to the truth, reliable, worthy of confidence, is
not a deceiver of men. Being at a meeting, or amongst people, or
in the midst of his relatives, or in a society, or in the king's
court, and called upon and asked as witness, to tell what he
knows, he answers, if he knows nothing: "I know nothing"; and if
he knows, he answers: "I know"; if he has seen nothing, he
answers: "I have seen nothing," and if he has seen, he answers: "I
have seen." Thus, he never knowingly speaks a lie, neither for the
sake of his own advantage, nor for the sake of another person's
advantage, nor for the sake of any advantage whatsoever.

He avoids tale-bearing, and abstains from it. What he has heard
here, he does not repeat there, so as to cause dissension there;
and what he heard there, he does not repeat here, so as to cause
dissension here. Thus he unites those that are divided; and those
that are united, he encourages. Concord gladdens him, he delights
and rejoices in concord, and it is concord that he spreads by his
words.

He avoids harsh language, and abstains from it. He speaks such
words as are gentle, soothing to the ear, loving, going to the
heart, courteous and dear, and agreeable to many.

[In Majjhima-Nikaya, No. 21, the Buddha says: "Even, O monks,
should robbers and murderers saw through your limbs and joints,
whoso gave way to anger thereat, would not be following my advice.
For thus ought you to train yourselves:

"'Undisturbed shall our mind remain, no evil words shall escape
our lips; friendly and full of sympathy shall we remain, with
heart full of love, and free from any hidden malice; and that
person shall we penetrate with loving thoughts, wide, deep,
boundless, freed from anger and hatred.'"]

He avoids vain talk, and abstains from it. He speaks at the right
time, in accordance with facts, speaks what is useful, speaks
about the law and the discipline; his speech is like a treasure,
at the right moment accompanied by arguments, moderate and full of
sense.

This is called right speech.

Now, right speech, let me tell you, is of two kinds:

1. Abstaining from lying, from tale-bearing, from harsh language,
and from vain talk; this is called the "Mundane Right Speech,
which yields worldly fruits and brings good results.

2. But the abhorrence of the practice of this four-fold wrong
speech, the abstaining, withholding, refraining therefrom-the mind
being holy, being turned away from the world, and conjoined with
the path, the holy path being pursued: this is called the
"Ultramundane Right Speech, which is not of the world, but is
ultramundane, and conjoined with the paths.

Now, in understanding wrong speech as wrong, and right speech as
right, one practices Right Understanding [1st step); and in making
efforts to overcome evil speech and to arouse right speech, one
practices Right Effort [6th step]; and in overcoming wrong speech
with attentive mind, and dwelling with attentive mind in
possession of right speech, one practices Right Attentiveness [7th
step]. Hence, there are three things that accompany and follow
upon right attentiveness.
 
 
 

FOURTH STEP

RIGHT ACTION

WHAT, now, is Right Action? It is abstaining from killing;
abstaining from stealing; abstaining from unlawful sexual
intercourse.

There, someone avoids the killing of living beings, and abstains
from it. Without stick or sword, conscientious, full of sympathy,
he is anxious for the welfare of all living beings.

He avoids stealing, and abstains from it; what another person
possesses of goods and chattels in the village or in the wood,
that he does not take away with thievish intent.

He avoids unlawful sexual intercourse, and abstains from it. He
has no intercourse with such persons as are still under the
protection of father, mother, brother, sister or relatives, nor
with married women, nor female convicts, nor, lastly, with
betrothed girls.

This is called Right Action.

Now, Right Action, let me tell you, is of two kinds:

1. Abstaining from killing, from stealing, and from unlawful
sexual intercourse - this is called the "Mundane Right Action,
which yields worldly fruits and brings good results.

2. But the abhorrence of the practice of this three-fold wrong
action, the abstaining, withholding, refraining therefrom-the mind
being holy, being turned away from the world, and conjoined with
the path, the holy path being pursued: this is called the
"Ultramundane Right Action," which is not of the world, but is
ultramundane, and conjoined with the paths.

Now, in understanding wrong action as wrong, and right action as
right, one practices Right Understanding [1st step]; and in making
efforts to overcome wrong action, and to arouse right action, one
practices Right Effort [6th step]; and in overcoming wrong action
with attentive mind, and dwelling with attentive mind in
possession of right action, one practices Right Attentiveness [7th
step]. Hence, there are three things that accompany and follow
upon right action, namely: right understanding, right effort, and
right attentiveness.
 
 

FIFTH STEP

RIGHT LIVING

WHAT, now, is Right Living? When the noble disciple, avoiding a
wrong way of living, gets his livelihood by a right way of living,
this is called Right Living.

Now, right living, let me tell you, is of two kinds:

1. When the noble disciple, avoiding wrong living, gets his
livelihood by a right way of living -- this is called the "Mundane
Right Living," which yields worldly fruits and brings good
results.

2. But the abhorrence of wrong living, the abstaining,
withholding, refraining therefrom-the mind being holy, being
turned away from the world, and conjoined with the path, the holy
path being pursued: this is called the "Ultramundane Right
Living," which is not of the world, but is ultramundane, and
conjoined with the paths.

Now, in understanding wrong living as wrong, and right living as
right, one practices Right Understanding [1st step]; and in making
efforts to overcome wrong living, to arouse right living, one
practices Right Effort [6th step]; and in overcoming wrong living
with attentive mind, and dwelling with attentive mind in
possession of right living, one practices Right Attentiveness [7th
step]. Hence, there are three things that accompany and follow
upon right living, namely: right understanding, right effort, and
right attentiveness.
 
 

SIXTH STEP

RIGHT EFFORT

WHAT, now, is Right Effort? There are Four Great Efforts: the
effort to avoid, the effort to overcome, the effort to develop,
and the effort to maintain.

What, now, is the effort to avoid? There, the disciple incites
his mind to avoid the arising of evil, demeritorious things that
have not yet arisen; and he strives, puts forth his energy,
strains his mind and struggles.

Thus, when he perceives a form with the eye, a sound with the
ear, an odor with the nose, a taste with the tongue, a contact
with the body, or an object with the mind, he neither adheres to
the whole, nor to its parts. And he strives to ward off that
through which evil and demeritorious things, greed and sorrow,
would arise, if he remained with unguarded senses; and he watches
over his senses, restrains his senses.

Possessed of this noble "Control over the Senses," he experiences
inwardly a feeling of joy, into which no evil thing can enter.
This is called the effort to avoid.

What, now, is the effort to Overcome? There, the disciple incites
his mind to overcome the evil, demeritorious things that have
already arisen; and he strives, puts forth his energy, strains his
mind and struggles.

He does not retain any thought of sensual lust, ill-will, or
grief, or any other evil and demeritorious states that may have
arisen; he abandons them, dispels them, destroys them, causes them
to disappear.
 
 
 

FIVE METHODS OF EXPELLING EVIL THOUGHTS

If, whilst regarding a certain object, there arise in the
disciple, on account of it, evil and demeritorious thoughts
connected with greed, anger and delusion, then the disciple
should, by means of this object, gain another and wholesome
object. Or, he should reflect on the misery of these thoughts:
"Unwholesome, truly, are these thoughts! Blameable are these
thoughts! Of painful result are these thoughts!" Or, he should pay
no attention to these thoughts. Or, he should consider the
compound nature of these thoughts. Or, with teeth clenched and
tongue pressed against the gums, he should, with his mind,
restrain, suppress and root out these thoughts; and in doing so,
these evil and demeritorious thoughts of greed, anger and delusion
will dissolve and disappear; and the mind will inwardly become
settled and calm, composed and concentrated.

This is called the effort to overcome.

What, now, is the effort to Develop? There the disciple incites
his will to arouse meritorious conditions that have not yet
arisen; and he strives, puts forth his energy, strains his mind
and struggles.

Thus he develops the "Elements of Enlightenment," bent on
solitude, on detachment, on extinction, and ending in deliverance,
namely: Attentiveness, Investigation of the Law, Energy, Rapture,
Tranquility, Concentration, and Equanimity. This is called the
effort to develop.

What, now, is the effort to Maintain? There, the disciple incites
his will to maintain the meritorious conditions that have already
arisen, and not to let them disappear, but to bring them to
growth, to maturity and to the full perfection of development; and
he strives, puts forth his energy, strains his mind and struggles.

Thus, for example, he keeps firmly in his mind a favorable object
of concentration that has arisen, as the mental image of a
skeleton, of a corpse infested by worms, of a corpse blue-black in
color, of a festering corpse, of a corpse riddled with holes, of a
corpse swollen up.

This is called the effort to maintain.

Truly, the disciple who is possessed of faith and has penetrated
the Teaching of the Master, he is filled with the thought: "May
rather skin, sinews and bones wither away, may the flesh and blood
of my body dry up: I shall not give up my efforts so long as I
have not attained whatever is attainable by manly perseverance,
energy and endeavor!"

This is called right effort.

The effort of Avoiding, Overcoming,
Of Developing and Maintaining:
These four great efforts have been shown
By him, the scion of the sun.
And he who firmly clings to them,
May put an end to all the pain.
 
 
 

SEVENTH STEP

RIGHT ATTENTIVENESS {OR "MINDFULNESS"}

WHAT, now, is Right Attentiveness? The only way that leads to the
attainment of purity, to the overcoming of sorrow and lamentation,
to the end of pain and grief, to the entering upon the right path
and the realization of Nirvana, is the "Four Fundamentals of
Attentiveness." And which are these four? In them, the disciple
dwells in contemplation of the Body, in contemplation of Feeling,
in contemplation of the Mind, in contemplation of the
Mind-objects, ardent, clearly conscious and attentive, after
putting away worldly greed and grief.
 
 
 

CONTEMPLATION OF THE BODY

But, how does the disciple dwell in contemplation of the body?
There, the disciple retires to the forest, to the foot of a tree,
or to a solitary place, sits himself down, with legs crossed, body
erect, and with attentiveness fixed before him.

With attentive mind he breathes in, with attentive mind he
breathes out. When making a long inhalation, he knows: "I make a
long inhalation"; when making a long exhalation, he knows: "I make
a long exhalation." when making a short inhalation, he knows: "I
make a short inhalation"; when making a short exhalation, he
knows: "I make a short exhalation." "Clearly perceiving the entire
[breath]-body, I will breathe in": thus he trains himself;
"clearly perceiving the entire [breath]-body, I will breathe out":
thus he trains himself. "Calming this bodily function, I will
breathe In": thus he trains himself; "calming this bodily
function, I will breathe out": thus he trains himself.

Thus he dwells in contemplation of the body, either with regard
to his own person, or to other persons, or to both. He beholds how
the body arises; beholds how it passes away; beholds the arising
and passing away of the body. "A body is there, but no living
being, no individual, no woman, no man, no self, and nothing that
belongs to a self; neither a person, nor anything belonging to a
person" -- this clear consciousness is present in him, because of
his knowledge and mindfulness, and he lives independent,
unattached to anything in the world. Thus does the disciple dwell
in contemplation of the body.

And further, whilst going, standing, sitting, or lying down, the
disciple understands the expressions: "I go"; "I stand"; "I sit";
"I lie down"; he understands any position of the body.

[The disciple understands that it is not a being, a real ego {or
self}, that goes, stands, etc., but that it is by a mere figure of
speech that one says: "I go," "I stand," and so forth.]

And further, the disciple is clearly conscious in his going and
coming; clearly conscious in looking forward and backward; clearly
conscious in bending and stretching; clearly conscious in eating,
drinking, chewing, and tasting; clearly conscious in discharging
excrement and urine; clearly conscious in walking, standing,
sitting, falling asleep and awakening; clearly conscious in
speaking and in keeping silent.

["In all the disciple is doing, he is clearly conscious: of his
intention, of his advantage, of his duty, of the reality."]

And further, the disciple contemplates this body from the sole of
the foot upward, and from the top of the hair downward, with a
skin stretched over it, and filled with manifold impurities: "This
body consists of hairs, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, sinews, bones,
marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, diaphragm, spleen, lungs,
intestines, bowels, stomach, and excrement; of bile, phlegm, pus,
blood, sweat, lymph, tears, semen, spittle, nasal mucus, oil of
the joints, and urine."

Just as if there were a sack, with openings at both ends, filled
with all kinds of grain -- with paddy, beans, sesamum and husked
rice -- and a man not blind opened it and examined its contents,
thus: "That is paddy, these are beans, this is sesamum, this is
husked rice": just so does the disciple investigate this body.

And further, the disciple contemplates this body with regard to
the elements: "This body consists of the solid element, the liquid
element, the heating element and the vibrating element." Just as a
skilled butcher or butcher's apprentice, who has slaughtered a cow
and divided it into separate portions, should sit down at the
junction of four highroads: just so does the disciple contemplate
this body with regard to the elements.

And further, just as if the disciple should see a corpse thrown
into the burial ground, one, two, or three days dead, swollen-up,
blue-black in color, full of corruption he draws the conclusion as
to his own body: "This my body also has this nature, has this
destiny, and cannot escape it." And further, just as if the
disciple should see a corpse thrown into the burial-ground, eaten
by crows, hawks or vultures, by dogs or jackals, or gnawed by all
kinds of worms -- he draws the conclusion as to his own body:
"This my body also has this nature, has this destiny, and cannot
escape it."

And further, just as if the disciple should see a corpse thrown
into the burial ground, a framework of bones, flesh hanging from
it, bespattered with blood, held together by the sinews; a
framework of bones, stripped of flesh, bespattered with blood,
held together by the sinews; a framework of bones, without flesh
and blood, but still held together by the sinews; bones,
disconnected and scattered in all directions, here a bone of the
hand, there a bone of the foot, there a shin bone, there a thigh
bone, there the pelvis, there the spine, there the skull-he draws
the conclusion as to his own body: "This my body also has this
nature, has this destiny, and cannot escape it."

And further, just as if the disciple should see bones lying in
the burial ground, bleached and resembling shells; bones heaped
together, after the lapse of years; bones weathered and crumbled
to dust;-he draws the conclusion as to his own body: "This my body
also has this nature, has this destiny, and cannot escape it."

Thus he dwells in contemplation of the body, either with regard
to his own person, or to other persons, or to both. He beholds how
the body arises; beholds how it passes away; beholds the arising
and passing of the body. "A body is there" -- this clear
consciousness is present in him, because of his knowledge and
mindfulness; and he lives independent, unattached to anything in
the world. Thus does the disciple dwell in contemplation of the
body.
 
 
 

THE TEN BLESSINGS

Once the contemplation of the body is practiced, developed, often
repeated, has become one's habit, one's foundation, is firmly
established, strengthened and well perfected, one may expect ten
blessings:

Over Delight and Discontent one has mastery; one does not allow
himself to be overcome by discontent; one subdues it, as soon as
it arises. One conquers Fear and Anxiety; one does not allow
himself to be overcome by fear and anxiety; one subdues them, as
soon as they arise. One endures cold and heat, hunger and thirst,
wind and sun, attacks by gadflies, mosquitoes and reptiles;
patiently one endures wicked and malicious speech, as well as
bodily pains, that befall one, though they be piercing, sharp,
bitter, unpleasant, disagreeable and dangerous to life. The four
"Trances," the mind bestowing happiness even here: these one may
enjoy at will, without difficulty, without effort.

One may enjoy the different "Magical Powers." With the "Heavenly
Ear," the purified, the super-human, one may hear both kinds of
sounds, the heavenly and the earthly, the distant and the near.
With the mind one may obtain "Insight into the Hearts of Other
Beings of other persons". One may obtain "Remembrance of many
Previous Births." With the "Heavenly Eye," the purified, the
super-human, one may see beings vanish and reappear, the base and
the noble, the beautiful and the ugly, the happy and the
unfortunate; one may perceive how beings are reborn according to
their deeds.

One may, through the "Cessation of Passions," come to know for
oneself, even in this life, the stainless deliverance of mind, the
deliverance through wisdom.
 
 

CONTEMPLATION OF THE FEELINGS

But how does the disciple dwell in contemplation of the feelings?

In experiencing feelings, the disciple knows: "I have an
indifferent agreeable feeling," or "I have a disagreeable
feeling," or "I have an indifferent feeling," or "I have a worldly
agreeable feeling," or "I have an unworldly agreeable feeling," or
"I have a worldly disagreeable feeling," or "I have an unworldly
disagreeable feeling," or "I have a worldly indifferent feeling,"
or "I have an unworldly indifferent feeling".

Thus he dwells in contemplation of the feelings, either with
regard to his own person, or to other persons, or to both. He
beholds how the feelings arise; beholds how they pass away;
beholds the arising and passing away of the feelings. "Feelings
are there": this clear consciousness is present in him, because of
his knowledge and mindfulness; and he lives independent,
unattached to anything in the world. Thus does the disciple dwell
in contemplation of the feelings.

[The disciple understands that the expression "I feel" has no
validity except as an expression of common speech; he understands
that, in the absolute sense, there are only feelings, and that
there is no ego {or self}, no person, no experience of the
feelings.]
 
 
 

CONTEMPLATION OF THE MIND

But how does the disciple dwell in contemplation of the mind? The
disciple knows the greedy mind as greedy, and the not greedy mind
as not greedy; knows the angry mind as angry, and the not angry
mind as not angry; knows the deluded mind as deluded, and the
undeluded mind as undeluded. He knows the cramped mind as cramped,
and the scattered mind as scattered; knows the developed mind as
developed, and the undeveloped mind as undeveloped; knows the
surpassable mind as surpassable, and the unsurpassable mind as
unsurpassable; knows the concentrated mind as concentrated, and
the unconcentrated mind as unconcentrated; knows the freed mind as
freed, and the unfreed mind as unfreed.

["Mind" is here used as a collective for the moments of
consciousness. Being identical with consciousness, it should not
be translated by "thought." "Thought" and "thinking" correspond
rather to the so-called "verbal operations of the mind"; they are
not, like consciousness, of primary, but of secondary nature, and
are entirely absent in all sensuous consciousness, as well as in
the second, third and fourth Trances. (See eighth step).]

Thus he dwells in contemplation of the mind, either with regard
to his own person, or to other persons, or to both. He beholds how
consciousness arises; beholds how it passes away; beholds the
arising and passing away of consciousness. "Mind is there"; this
clear consciousness is present in him, because of his knowledge
and mindfulness; and he lives independent, unattached to anything
in the world. Thus does the disciple dwell in contemplation of the
mind.
 
 
 

CONTEMPLATION OF MENTAL PHENOMENA (MIND-OBJECTS)

But how does the disciple dwell in contemplation of the mental
phenomena? First, the disciple dwells in contemplation of the
phenomen, of the "Five Hindrances."

He knows when there is "Lust" in him: "In me is lust"; knows when
there is "Anger" in him: "In me is anger"; knows when there is
"Torpor and Drowsiness" in him: "In me is torpor and drowsiness";
knows when there is "Restlessness and Mental Worry" in him: "In me
is restlessness and mental worry"; knows when there are "Doubts"
in him: "In me are doubts." He knows when these hindrances are not
in him: "In me these hindrances are not." He knows how they come
to arise; knows how, once arisen, they are overcome; knows how,
once overcome, they do not rise again in the future.

[For example, Lust arises through unwise thinking on the
agreeable and delightful. It may be suppressed by the following
six methods: fixing the mind upon an idea that arouses disgust;
contemplation of the loathsomeness of the body; controlling one's
six senses; moderation in eating; friendship with wise and good
men; right instruction. Lust is forever extinguished upon entrance
into Anagamiship; Restlessness is extinguished by reaching
Arahatship; Mental Worry, by reaching Sotapanship.]

And further: the disciple dwells in contemplation of the
phenomena, of the five Groups of Existence. He knows what
Corporeality is, how it arises, how it passes away; knows what
Feeling is, how it arises, how it away; knows what Perception is,
how it arises, how it passes away; knows what the Mental
Formations are, how they arise, how they pass away; knows what
Consciousness is, how it arises, how it passes away.

And further: the disciple dwells in contemplation of the
phenomena of the six Subjective-Objective Sense-Bases. He knows
eye and visual objects, ear and sounds, nose and odors, tongue and
tastes, body and touches, mind and mind objects; and the fetter
that arises in dependence on them, he also knows. He knows how the
fetter comes to arise, knows how the fetter is overcome, and how
the abandoned fetter does not rise again in future.

And further: the disciple dwells in contemplation of the
phenomena of the seven Elements of Enlightenment. The disciple
knows when there is Attentiveness in him; when there is
Investigation of the Law in him; when there is Energy in him; when
there is Enthusiasm in him; when there is Tranquility in him; when
there is Concentration in him; when there is Equanimity in him. He
knows when it is not in him, knows how it comes to arise, and how
it is fully developed.

And further: the disciple dwells in contemplation of the
phenomena of the Four Noble Truths. He knows according to reality,
what Suffering is; knows according to reality, what the Origin of
Suffering is; knows according to reality, what the Extinction of
Suffering is; knows according to reality, what the Path is that
leads to the Extinction of Suffering.

Thus he dwells in contemplation of the mental phenomena, either
with regard to his own person, or to other persons, or to both. He
beholds how the phenomena arise; beholds how they pass away;
beholds the arising and passing away of the phenomena. "Phenomena
are there": this consciousness is present in him because of his
knowledge and mindfulness; and he lives independent, unattached to
anything in the world. Thus does the disciple dwell in
contemplation of the phenomena.

The only way that leads to the attainment of purity, to the
overcoming of sorrow and lamentation, to the end of pain and
grief, to the entering upon the right path, and the realization of
Nirvana, is these four fundamentals of attentiveness.
 
 
 

NIRVANA THROUGH WATCHING OVER BREATHING

"Watching over In- and Out-breathing" practiced and developed,
brings the four Fundamentals of Attentiveness to perfection; the
four fundamentals of attentiveness, practiced and developed bring
the seven Elements of Enlightenment to perfection; the seven
elements of enlightenment, practiced and developed, bring Wisdom
and Deliverance to perfection.

But how does Watching over In- and Out-breathing, practiced and
developed, bring the four Fundamentals of Attentiveness to
perfection?

I. Whenever the disciple is conscious in making a long inhalation
or exhalation, or in making a short inhalation or exhalation, or
is training himself to inhale or exhale whilst feeling the whole
[breath]-body, or whilst calming down this bodily function -- at
such a time the disciple is dwelling in "contemplation of the
body," of energy, clearly conscious, attentive, after subduing
worldly greed and grief. For, inhalation and exhalation I call one
amongst the corporeal phenomena.

II. Whenever the disciple is training himself to inhale or exhale
whilst feeling rapture, or joy, or the mental functions, or whilst
calming down the mental functions -- at such a time he is dwelling
in "contemplation of the feelings," full of energy, clearly
conscious, attentive, after subduing worldly greed and grief. For,
the full awareness of In- and outbreathing I call one amongst the
feelings.

III. Whenever the disciple is training himself to inhale or
exhale whilst feeling the mind, or whilst gladdening the mind or
whilst concentrating the mind, or whilst setting the mind free --
at such a time he is dwelling in "contemplation of the mind," full
of energy, clearly conscious, attentive, after subduing worldly
greed and grief. For, without attentiveness and clear
consciousness, I say, there is no watching over in- and
out-breathing.

IV. Whenever the disciple is training himself to inhale or exhale
whilst contemplating impermanence, or the fading away of passion,
or extinction, or detachment -- at such a time he is dwelling in
"contemplation of the phenomena," full of energy, clearly
conscious, attentive, after subduing worldly greed and grief.

Watching over In- and Out-breathing, thus practiced and
developed, brings the four Fundamentals of Attentiveness to
perfection.

But how do the four Fundamentals of Attentiveness, practiced and
developed, bring the seven Elements of Enlightenment to full
perfection?

Whenever the disciple is dwelling in contemplation of body,
feeling, mind and phenomena, strenuous, clearly conscious,
attentive, after subduing worldly greed and grief -- at such a
time his attentiveness is undisturbed; and whenever his
attentiveness is present and undisturbed, at such a time he has
gained and is developing the Element of Enlightenment
"Attentiveness"; and thus this element of enlightenment reaches
fullest perfection.

And whenever, whilst dwelling with attentive mind, he wisely
investigates, examines and thinks over the Law -- at such a time
he has gained and is developing the Element of Enlightenment
"Investigation of the Law"; and thus this element of enlightenment
reaches fullest perfection.

And whenever, whilst wisely investigating, examining and thinking
over the law, his energy is firm and unshaken -- at such a time he
has gained and is developing the Element of Enlightenment
"Energy"; and thus this element of enlightenment reaches fullest
perfection.

And whenever in him, whilst firm in energy, arises supersensuous
rapture -- at such a time he has gained and is developing the
Element of Enlightenment "Rapture"; and thus this element of
enlightenment reaches fullest perfection.

And whenever, whilst enraptured in mind, his spiritual frame and
his mind become tranquil -- at such a time he has gained and is
developing the Element of Enlightenment "Tranquility"; and thus
this element of enlightenment reaches fullest perfection.

And whenever, whilst being tranquilized in his spiritual frame
and happy, his mind becomes concentrated -- at such a time he has
gained and is developing the Element of Enlightenment
"Concentration; and thus this element of enlightenment reaches
fullest perfection.

And whenever he thoroughly looks with indifference on his mind
thus concentrated -- at such a time he has gained and is
developing the Element of Enlightenment "Equanimity."

The four fundamentals of attentiveness, thus practiced and
developed, bring the seven elements of enlightenment to full
perfection.

But how do the seven elements of enlightenment, practiced and
developed, bring Wisdom and Deliverance to full perfection?

There, the disciple is developing the elements of enlightenment:
Attentiveness, Investigation of the Law, Energy, Rapture,
Tranquility, Concentration and Equanimity, bent on detachment, on
absence of desire, on extinction and renunciation.

Thus practiced and developed, do the seven elements of
enlightenment bring wisdom and deliverance to full perfection.

Just as the elephant hunter drives a huge stake into the ground
and chains the wild elephant to it by the neck, in order to drive
out of him his wonted forest ways and wishes, his forest
unruliness, obstinacy and violence, and to accustom him to the
environment of the village, and to teach him such good behavior as
is required amongst men: in like manner also has the noble
disciple to fix his mind firmly to these four fundamentals of
attentiveness, so that he may drive out of himself his wonted
worldly ways and wishes, his wonted worldly unruliness, obstinacy
and violence, and win to the True, and realize Nirvana.
 
 

EIGHTH STEP

RIGHT CONCENTRATION

WHAT, now, is Right Concentration? Fixing the mind to a single
object ("One pointedness of mind"): this is concentration.

The four Fundamentals of Attentiveness (seventh step): these are
the objects of concentration.

The four Great Efforts (sixth step): these are the requisites for
concentration.

The practicing, developing and cultivating of these things: this
is the "Development" of concentration.

[Right Concentration has two degrees of development:

[1. "Neighborhood-Concentration," which approaches the first
trance, without however attaining it; and

[2. "Attainment Concentration," which is the concentration
present in the four trances. The attainment of the trances,
however, is not a requisite for the realization of the Four
Ultramundane Paths of Holiness; and neither
Neighborhood-Concentration nor Attainment-Concentration, as such,
in any way possesses the power of conferring entry into the Four
Ultramundane Paths; hence, in them is really no power to free
oneself permanently from evil things. The realization of the Four
Ultramundane Paths is possible only at the moment of insight into
the impermanency, miserable nature, and impersonality of
phenomenal process of existence. This insight is attainable only
during Neighborhood-Concentration, not during
Attainment-Concentration.

[He who has realized one or other of the Four Ultramundane Paths
without ever having attained the Trances, is called a
"Dry-visioned One," or one whose passions are "dried up by
Insight." He, however, who after cultivating the Trances has
reached one of the Ultramundane Paths, is called "one who has
taken tranquility as his vehicle."]
 
 
 

THE FOUR TRANCES

Detached from sensual objects, detached from unwholesome things,
the disciple enters into the first trance, which is accompanied by
"Verbal Though," and "Rumination," is born of "Detachment," and
filled with "Rapture," and "Happiness."

This first trance is free from five things, and five things are
present. When the disciple enters the first trance, there have
vanished [the 5 Hindrances]: Lust, Ill will, Torpor and Dullness,
Restlessness and Mental Worry, Doubts; and there are present:
Verbal Thought, Rumination, Rapture, Happiness, and Concentration.

And further: after the subsiding of verbal thought and
rumination, and by the gaining of inward tranquility and oneness
of mind, he enters into a state free from verbal thought and
rumination, the second trance, which is born of Concentration, and
filled with Rapture and Happiness.

And further: after the fading away of rapture, he dwells in
equanimity, attentive, clearly conscious; and he experiences in
his person that feeling, of which the Noble Ones say: "Happy lives
the man of equanimity and attentive mind" -- thus he enters the
third trance.

And further: after the giving up of pleasure and pain, and
through the disappearance of previous joy and grief, he enters
into a state beyond pleasure and pain, into the fourth trance,
which is purified by equanimity and attentiveness.

[The four Trances may be obtained by means of Watching over In-
and Out breathing, as well as through the fourth sublime
meditation, the "Meditation of Equanimity," and others.

[The three other Sublime Meditations of "Loving Kindness,"
"Compassion", and "Sympathetic Joy" may lead to the attainment of
the first three Trances. The "Cemetery Meditations," as well as
the meditation "On Loathsomeness," will produce only the First
Trance.

[The "Analysis of the Body," and the Contemplation on the Buddha,
the Law, the Holy Brotherhood, Morality, etc., will only produce
Neighborhood Concentration.]

Develop your concentration: for he who has concentration
understands things according to their reality. And what are these
things? The arising and passing away of corporeality, of feeling,
perception, mental formations and consciousness.

Thus, these five Groups of Existence must be wisely penetrated;
Delusion and Craving must be wisely abandoned; Tranquility and
Insight must be wisely developed.

This is the Middle Path which the Perfect One has discovered,
which makes one both to see and to know, and which leads to peace,
to discernment, to enlightenment, to Nirvana.

And following upon this path, you will put an end to suffering.
 
 
 

DEVELOPMENT OF THE EIGHTFOLD PATH IN THE DISCIPLE

CONFIDENCE AND RIGHT-MINDEDNESS (2ND STEP)

SUPPOSE a householder, or his son, or someone reborn in any
family, hears the law; and after hearing the law he is filled with
confidence in the Perfect One. And filled with this confidence, he
thinks: "Full of hindrances is household life, a refuse heap; but
pilgrim life is like the open air. Not easy is it, when one lives
at home, to fulfill in all points the rules of the holy life. How,
if now I were to cut off hair and beard, put on the yellow robe
and go forth from home to the homeless life?" And in a short time,
having given up his more or less extensive possessions, having
forsaken a smaller or larger circle of relations, he cuts off hair
and beard, puts on the yellow robe, and goes forth from home to
the homeless life.
 
 
 

MORALITY (3RD, 4TH, 5TH STEP)

Having thus left the world, he fulfills the rules of the monks. He
avoids the killing of living beings and abstains from it. Without
stick or sword, conscientious, full of sympathy, he is anxious for
the welfare of all living beings.-

He avoids stealing, and abstains from taking what is not given to
him. Only what is given to him he takes, waiting till it is given;
and he lives with a heart honest and pure.-

He avoids unchastity, living chaste, resigned, and keeping aloof
from sexual intercourse, the vulgar way.-

He avoids lying and abstains from it. He speaks the truth, is
devoted to the truth, reliable, worthy of confidence, is not a
deceiver of men.-

He avoids tale-bearing and abstains from it. What he has heard
here, he does not repeat there, so as to cause dissension there;
and what he has heard there, he does not repeat here, so as to
cause dissension here. Thus he unites those that are divided, and
those that are united he encourages; concord gladdens him, he
delights and rejoices in concord, and it is concord that he
spreads by his words.-

He avoids harsh language and abstains from it. He speaks such
words as are gentle, soothing to the ear, loving, going to the
heart, courteous and dear, and agreeable to many.-

He avoids vain talk and abstains from it. He speaks at the right
time, in accordance with facts, speaks what is useful, speaks
about the law and the disciple; his speech is like a treasure, at
the right moment accompanied by arguments, moderate, and full of
sense.

He keeps aloof from dance, song, music and the visiting of shows;
rejects flowers, perfumes, ointments, as well as every kind of
adornment and embellishment. High and gorgeous beds he does not
use. Gold and silver he does not accept. Raw corn and meat he does
not accept. Women and girls he does not accept. He owns no male
and female slaves, owns no goats, sheep, fowls, pigs, elephants,
cows or horses, no land and goods. He does not go on errands and
do the duties of a messenger. He keeps aloof from buying and
selling things. He has nothing to do with false measures, metals
and weights. He avoids the crooked ways of bribery, deception and
fraud. He keeps aloof from stabbing, beating, chaining, attacking,
plundering and oppressing.

He contents himself with the robe that protects his body, and
with the alms with which he keeps himself alive. Wherever he goes,
he is provided with these two things; just as a winged bird, in
flying, carries his wings along with him. By fulfilling this noble
Domain of Morality he feels in his heart an irreproachable
happiness.
 
 
 

CONTROL OF THE SENSES (6TH STEP)

Now, in perceiving a form with the eye -- a sound with the ear --
an odor with the nose -- a taste with the tongue -- a touch with
the body -- an object with his mind, he sticks neither to the
whole, nor to its details. And he tries to ward off that which, by
being unguarded in his senses, might give rise to evil and
unwholesome states, to greed and sorrow; he watches over his
senses, keep his senses under control. By practicing this noble
"Control of the Senses" he feels in his heart an unblemished
happiness.
 
 
 

ATTENTIVENESS AND CLEAR CONSCIOUSNESS (7TH STEP)

Clearly conscious is he in his going and coming; clearly conscious
in looking forward and backward; clearly conscious in bending and
stretching his body; clearly conscious in eating, drinking,
chewing and tasting; dearly conscious in discharging excrement and
urine; clearly conscious in walking, standing, sitting, falling
asleep and awakening; clearly conscious in speaking and keeping
silent.

Now, being equipped with this lofty Morality, equipped with this
noble Control of the Senses, and filled with this noble
"Attentiveness and Clear Consciousness", he chooses a secluded
dwelling in the forest, at the foot of a tree, on a mountain, in a
cleft, in a rock cave, on a burial ground, on a woody table-land,
in the open air, or on a heap of straw. Having returned from his
alms-round, after the meal, he sits himself down with legs
crossed, body erect, with attentiveness fixed before him.
 
 
 

ABSENCE OF THE FIVE HINDRANCES

He has cast away Lust; he dwells with a heart free from lust; from
lust he cleanses his heart.

He has cast away Ill-will; he dwells with a heart free from
ill-will; cherishing love and compassion toward all living beings,
he cleanses his heart from ill-will.

He has cast away Torpor and Dullness; he dwells free from torpor
and dullness; loving the light, with watchful mind, with clear
consciousness, he cleanses his mind from torpor and dullness.

He has cast away Restlessness and Mental Worry; dwelling with
mind undisturbed, with heart full of peace, he cleanses his mind
from restlessness and mental worry.

He has cast away Doubt; dwelling free from doubt, full of
confidence in the good, he cleanses his heart from doubt.
 
 
 

THE TRANCES (8TH STEP)

He has put aside these five Hindrances and come to know the
paralyzing corruptions of the mind. And far from sensual
impressions, far from unwholesome things, he enters into the Four
Trances.
 
 
 

INSIGHT (1ST STEP)

But whatsoever there is of feeling, perception, mental formation,
or consciousness -- all these phenomena he regards as
"impermanent," "subject to pain," as infirm, as an ulcer, a thorn,
a misery, a burden, an enemy, a disturbance, as empty and "void of
an ego {or self}"; and turning away from these things, he directs
his mind towards the abiding, thus: "This, verily, is the Peace,
this is the Highest, namely the end of all formations, the
forsaking of every substratum of rebirth, the fading away of
craving; detachment, extinction: Nirvana." And in this state he
reaches the "Cessation of Passions."
 
 
 

NIRVANA

And his heart becomes free from sensual passion, free from the
passion for existence, free from the passion of ignorance. "Freed
am I!": this knowledge arises in the liberated one; and he knows:
"Exhausted is rebirth, fulfilled the Holy Life; what was to be
done, has been done; naught remains more for this world to do."

Forever am I liberated,
This is the last time that I'm born,
No new existence waits for me.

This, verily, is the highest, holiest wisdom: to know that all
suffering has passed away.

This, verily, is the highest, holiest peace: appeasement of
greed, hatred and delusion.
 
 
 

THE SILENT THINKER

"I am" is a vain thought; "I am not" a vain thought; "I shall be"
is a vain thought; "I shall not be" is a vain thought. Vain
thoughts are a sickness, an ulcer, a thorn. But after overcoming
all vain thoughts, one is called "silent thinker." And the
thinker, the Silent One, does no more arise, no more pass away, no
more tremble, no more desire. For there is nothing in him that he
should arise again. And as he arises no more, how should he grow
old again? And as he grows no more old, how should he die again?
And as he dies no more, how should he tremble? And as he trembles
no more, how should he have desire?
 
 
 

THE TRUE GOAL

Hence, the purpose of the Holy Life does not consist in acquiring
alms, honor, or fame, nor in gaining morality, concentration, or
the eye of knowledge. That unshakable deliverance of the heart:
that, verily, is the object of the Holy Life, that is its essence,
that is its goal.

And those, who formerly, in the past, were Holy and Enlightened
Ones, those Blessed Ones also have pointed out to their disciples
this self-same goal, as has been pointed out by me to my
disciples. And those, who afterwards, in the future, will be Holy
and Enlightened Ones, those Blessed Ones also will point out to
their disciples this self-same goal, as has been pointed out by me
to my disciples.

However, Disciples, it may be that (after my passing away) you
might think: "Gone is the doctrine of our Master. We have no
Master more." But you should not think; for the Law and the
Discipline, which I have taught you, will, after my death, be your
master.

The Law be your light,
The Law be your refuge!
Do not look for any other refuge!

Disciples, the doctrines, which I advised you to penetrate, you
should well preserve, well guard, so that this Holy Life may take
its course and continue for ages, for the weal and welfare of the
many, as a consolation to the world, for the happiness, weal and
welfare of heavenly beings and men.
 
 
 

THE END.