The Second Discourse

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4. Further Attainments

Now when the Dhamma Wheel was set rolling by the Gracious One [all the] gods let loose a cry:

“Near Bārāṇasī, in the Deer Park at Isipatana,
the unsurpassed Dhamma Wheel has been set rolling by the Gracious One,
and it cannot be rolled back by an ascetic or by a brahmaṇa
or by a god or by a Māra or by a Brahmā or by anyone in the world.”

Thus at that moment, at that second, that cry reached as far as the Brahmā worlds, and this ten-thousand world-element moved, wavered, and shook, and great and measureless light became manifest in the world, transcending the godly power of the gods. Then the Gracious One uttered this inspired utterance:

“Koṇḍañña surely knows, Koṇḍañña surely knows.”

Thus to the venerable Koṇḍañña came the name Aññā Koṇḍañña (Koṇḍañña, he-who-knows).

Then the venerable Aññā Koṇḍañña, having seen the Dhamma, attained the Dhamma, understood the Dhamma, penetrated the Dhamma, crossed over uncertainty, being without doubts, having attained full confidence, having become independent of others in the Teacher's teaching, said this to the Gracious One: “May I receive the going-forth, venerable Sir, in the presence of the Gracious One, may I receive the full ordination.”

“Come, monk,” said the Gracious One, “the Dhamma has been well-proclaimed, live the spiritual life for the complete ending of suffering.” That was this the venerable one's full ordination. He is therefore the first monk is the dispensation, and was ordained with the ehi-bhikkhu formula.01

Then the Gracious One gave advice and instruction with a Dhamma talk to the remaining monks. Then to the venerable Vappa and to the venerable Bhaddiya as the Gracious One gave advice and instruction with a Dhamma talk the dust-free, stainless, Vision-of-the-Dhamma arose:

“Whatever has the nature of arising, all that has the nature of ceasing.”

They, having seen the Dhamma, attained the Dhamma, According to the commentary and Jā Nid Vappa attained on the first day after Āsāḷhā, and Bhaddiya on the second, but it is hard to reconcile this with the text which treats them both together. There is a similar problem with Mahānāma and Assaji below, who are said by the commentary to have attained on the third and fourth days of the waning moon. That they were ordained in pairs strongly suggests that they attained at the same time. 02 understood the Dhamma, penetrated the Dhamma, crossed over uncertainty, being without doubts, having attained full confidence, having become independent of others in the Teacher's teaching, said this to the Gracious One:

“May we receive the going-forth, venerable Sir, in the presence of the Gracious One, may we receive the full ordination.”

“Come, monks,” said the Gracious One, “the Dhamma has been well-proclaimed, live the spiritual life for the complete ending of suffering.” That was these venerable ones' full ordination.

Then the Gracious One, living on (those two) monks' food gave advice and instruction with a Dhamma talk to the remaining monks, and the six monks subsisted on whatever, after walking for alms-food, the three monks brought them. Then to the venerable Mahānāma and to the venerable Assaji as the Gracious One gave advice and instruction with a Dhamma talk the dust-free, stainless, Vision-of-the-Dhamma arose:

“Whatever has the nature of arising, all that has the nature of ceasing.”

They, having seen the Dhamma, attained the Dhamma, understood the Dhamma, penetrated the Dhamma, crossed over uncertainty, being without doubts, having attained full confidence, having become independent of others in the Teacher's teaching, said this to the Gracious One: “May we receive the going-forth, venerable Sir, in the presence of the Gracious One, may we receive the full ordination.”

“Come, monks,” said the Gracious One, “the Dhamma has been well-proclaimed, live the spiritual life for the complete ending of suffering.” That was these venerable ones' full ordination.

5. The Discourse on the Characteristic of Non-Self
(The First Arahants)

Then the Gracious One addressed the group-of-five monks (saying):

“Bodily form, monks, is not Self, It is the supposed Higher or Cosmic Self that is being denied. The first proof of lack of Self in this sense is that we do not have ultimate control over the constituent parts (khandhā). 03 for if this bodily form, monks, were Self this bodily form would not lead to affliction, and regarding bodily form it might be possible (to say): ‘Let my bodily form be thus, let my bodily form be not thus.’ But because bodily form, monks, is not Self, therefore bodily form does lead to affliction, and regarding bodily form it is not possible (to say): ‘Let my bodily form be thus, let my bodily form be not thus.’

Feeling is not Self, for if this feeling, monks, were Self this feeling would not lead to affliction, and regarding feeling it might be possible (to say): ‘Let my feeling be thus, let my feeling be not thus.’ But because feeling, monks, is not Self, therefore feeling does lead to affliction, and regarding feeling it is not possible (to say): ‘Let my feeling be thus, let my feeling be not thus.’

Perception is not Self, for if this perception, monks, were Self this perception would not lead to affliction, and regarding perception it might be possible (to say): ‘Let my perception be thus, let my perception be not thus.’ But because perception, monks, is not Self, therefore perception does lead to affliction, and regarding perception it is not possible (to say): ‘Let my perception be thus, let my perception be not thus.’

(Mental) processes are not Self, for if these (mental) processes, monks, were Self these (mental) processes would not lead to affliction, and regarding (mental) processes it might be possible (to say): ‘Let my (mental) processes be thus, let my (mental) processes be not thus.’ But because (mental) processes, monks, are not Self, therefore (mental) processes do lead to affliction, and regarding (mental) processes it is not possible (to say): ‘Let my (mental) processes be thus, let my (mental) processes be not thus.’

Consciousness is not Self, for if this consciousness, monks, were Self this consciousness would not lead to affliction, and regarding consciousness it might be possible (to say): ‘Let my consciousness be thus, let my consciousness be not thus.’ But because consciousness, monks, is not Self, therefore consciousness does lead to affliction, and regarding consciousness it is not possible (to say): ‘Let my consciousness be thus, let my consciousness be not thus.”

What do you think of this, monks: “(Is) bodily form permanent or impermanent?” “Impermanent, venerable Sir.” “But that which is impermanent, (is) that unpleasant or pleasant?” “Unpleasant, venerable Sir.” “But that which is unpleasant and changeable, is it proper to regard it thus: ‘This is mine, this I am, this is my Self?’ ” “Certainly not, venerable Sir.” It is interesting that the second argument against the concept of a Self relies on the notion of suitability to uphold its truth. 04

“(Is) feeling permanent or impermanent?” “Impermanent, venerable Sir.” “But that which is impermanent, (is) that unpleasant or pleasant?” “Unpleasant, venerable Sir.” “But that which is unpleasant and changeable, is it proper to regard it thus: ‘This is mine, this I am, this is my Self?’ ” “Certainly not, venerable Sir.”

“(Is) perception permanent or impermanent?” “Impermanent, venerable Sir.” “But that which is impermanent, (is) that unpleasant or pleasant?” “Unpleasant, venerable Sir.” “But that which is unpleasant and changeable, is it proper to regard it thus: ‘This is mine, this I am, this is my Self?’ ” “Certainly not, venerable Sir.”

“(Are) (mental) processes permanent or impermanent?” “Impermanent, venerable Sir.” “But that which is impermanent, (is) that unpleasant or pleasant?” “Unpleasant, venerable Sir.” “But that which is unpleasant and changeable, is it proper to regard it thus: ‘This is mine, this I am, this is my Self?’ ” “Certainly not, venerable Sir.”

“(Is) consciousness permanent or impermanent?” “Impermanent, venerable Sir.” “But that which is impermanent, (is) that unpleasant or pleasant?” “Unpleasant, venerable Sir.” “But that which is unpleasant and changeable, is it proper to regard it thus: ‘This is mine, this I am, this is my Self?’ ” “Certainly not, venerable Sir.”

“Therefore monks, whatever bodily form (there is) in the past, future or present, internal or external, gross or fine, inferior or excellent, whether far or near, regarding all form: ‘This is not mine, I am not this, this is not my Self,’ in just this way, as it really is, it should be seen with full wisdom.

Whatever feeling (there is) in the past, future or present, internal or external, gross or fine, inferior or excellent, whether far or near, regarding all feeling: ‘This is not mine, I am not this, this is not my Self,’ in just this way, as it really is, it should be seen with full wisdom.

Whatever perception (there is) in the past, future or present, internal or external, gross or fine, inferior or excellent, whether far or near, regarding all perception: ‘This is not mine, I am not this, this is not my Self,’ in just this way, as it really is, it should be seen with full wisdom.

Whatever (mental) processes (there are) in the past, future or present, internal or external, gross or fine, inferior or excellent, whether far or near, regarding all (mental) processes: ‘This is not mine, I am not this, this is not my Self,’ in just this way, as it really is, it should be seen with full wisdom.

Whatever consciousness (there is) in the past, future or present, internal or external, gross or fine, inferior or excellent, whether far or near, regarding all consciousness: ‘This is not mine, I am not this, this is not my Self,’ in just this way, as it really is, it should be seen with full wisdom.

Seeing in this way, monks, the learned, Noble disciple, grows weary of bodily form, and weary of feeling, and weary of perception, and weary of (mental) processes, and weary of consciousness, through weariness he becomes dispassionate, through dispassion he is liberated, in liberation, there is the knowledge that such is liberation:

‘Destroyed is (re)birth
accomplished is the spiritual life
done is what ought to be done
there is no more of this mundane state' - this he knew.

The Gracious One said this, and the group-of-five monks were uplifted and greatly rejoiced in what was said by the Gracious One.

Moreover, as this sermon was being given, the group-of-five monks' minds were liberated from the pollutants, without attachment, and at that time there were six Worthy Ones in the world.