[I: The First Teachings]

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[9: The Discourse Setting the Dhamma Wheel Rolling] Cf. SN 56, Saccasaṁyuttaṁ, 11. Jā Nid: sitting on the best of Buddha seats that had been prepared, at the conjunction of the Uttarāsāḷha constellation, surrounded by 180,000,000 Brahmās, after addressing the Group-of-Five elders, he taught the Discourse Setting the Dhamma Wheel Rolling.01

Then the Gracious One addressed the group-of-five monks, saying: “There are these two extremes, monks, that one who has gone forth ought not to associate with,

which is this: devotion and clinging to the pleasure in sense pleasures,
which is low, vulgar, worldly, ignoble, and not connected with the goal;
and this: devotion to self-mortification,
which is painful, ignoble, and not connected with the goal.

Not having approached either of these two extremes, monks, the middle practice was awakened to by the Realised One, which produces vision, produces knowledge, and which leads to peace, deep knowledge, Complete Awakening, and Emancipation.

Now what is this middle practice, monks, that was awakened to by the Realised One, which produces vision, Comm: said in reference to the eye of wisdom.02 produces knowledge, and which leads to peace, deep knowledge, Complete Awakening, and Emancipation? It is this Eightfold Noble Path, as follows:

right view
right thought
right speech
right action
right livelihood
right endeavour
right mindfulness
right concentration. The Eightfold Noble Path is sometimes organised into three sections or groups: virtue (sīla): right speech, action and livelihood; mastery of mind (samādhi): right endeavour, mindfulness and concentration; and wisdom (paññā): right view and thought.03

This is the middle practice, monks, that was awakened to by the Realised One, which produces vision, produces knowledge, and which leads to peace, deep knowledge, Complete Awakening, and Emancipation.

[The Four Noble Truths]

Now this, monks, is the noble truth of suffering:

birth is suffering
also old age is suffering
also sickness is suffering
also death is suffering
being joined to what is not dear is suffering
being separated from what is dear is suffering
also not to obtain what one longs for is suffering
in brief, the five constituent parts (of mind and body) that provide fuel for attachment are suffering.

Now this, monks, is the noble truth of the arising of suffering: it is that craving which leads to continuation in existence, which is connected with enjoyment and passion, greatly enjoying this and that, as follows:

craving for sense pleasures
craving for continuation
craving for discontinuation.

Now this, monks, is the noble truth of the cessation of suffering: it is the complete fading away and cessation without remainder of that craving - liberation, letting go, release, and non-adherence.

Now this, monks, is the noble truth of the practice leading to the end of suffering, it is this Eightfold Noble Path, as follows:

right view
right thought
right speech
right action
right livelihood
right endeavour
right mindfulness
right concentration.

[Realisation]

“This is the noble truth of suffering” - to me, monks, regarding these previously unheard-of things vision arose, knowledge arose, wisdom arose, understanding arose, light arose.

Now that to which “this is the noble truth of suffering” refers (i.e. suffering itself) ought to be fully known The syntax of this section in Pāḷi is very roundabout and not a little awkward. The translation is no better, as to maintain consistency, we have to circumlocute to avoid saying (just below): This noble truth of the arising of suffering ought to be given up, which makes it sound as if the truth ought to be given up, rather than what causes the arising.04 - to me, monks, regarding these previously unheard-of things vision arose, knowledge arose, wisdom arose, understanding arose, light arose.

Now that to which “this is the noble truth of suffering” refers has been fully known - to me, monks, regarding these previously unheard-of things vision arose, knowledge arose, wisdom arose, understanding arose, light arose.

“This is the noble truth of the arising of suffering” - to me, monks, regarding these previously unheard-of things vision arose, knowledge arose, wisdom arose, understanding arose, light arose.

Now that to which “this is the noble truth of the arising of suffering” refers (i.e. craving) ought to be given up - to me, monks, regarding these previously unheard-of things vision arose, knowledge arose, wisdom arose, understanding arose, light arose.

Now that to which “this is the noble truth of the arising of suffering” refers has been given up, to me, monks, regarding these previously unheard-of things vision arose, knowledge arose, wisdom arose, understanding arose, light arose.

“This is the noble truth of the cessation of suffering” - to me, monks, regarding these previously unheard-of things vision arose, knowledge arose, wisdom arose, understanding arose, light arose.

Now that to which “this is the noble truth of the cessation of suffering” refers (i.e. Emancipation) ought to be experienced - to me, monks, regarding these previously unheard-of things vision arose, knowledge arose, wisdom arose, understanding arose, light arose.

Now that to which “this is the noble truth of the cessation of suffering” refers has been experienced - to me, monks, regarding these previously unheard-of things vision arose, knowledge arose, wisdom arose, understanding arose, light arose.

“This is the noble truth of the practice going to the cessation of suffering” - to me, monks, regarding these previously unheard-of things vision arose, knowledge arose, wisdom arose, understanding arose, light arose.

Now that to which “this is the noble truth of the practice leading to the end of suffering” refers (i.e. the practice itself) ought to be developed - to me, monks, regarding these previously unheard-of things vision arose, knowledge arose, wisdom arose, understanding arose, light arose.

Now that to which “this is the noble truth of the practice leading to the end of suffering” refers has been developed - to me, monks, regarding these previously unheard-of things vision arose, knowledge arose, wisdom arose, understanding arose, light arose.

[Declaring the Awakening]

For as long as to me, monks, in regard to these four noble truths - turned like this, in three ways, twelvefold - knowledge and insight as it really is was not quite clear, for that long, monks, I did not declare to the world with its gods, Māra, and Brahmā, to this generation, with its ascetics and brāhmaṇas, princes and men, that I was a Full and Perfect Sambuddha with unsurpassed complete awakening.

But when to me, monks, in regard to these four noble truths - turned like this, in three ways, twelvefold - knowledge and insight as it really is was quite clear then, monks, I did declare to the world with its gods, Māra, and Brahmā, to this generation, with its ascetics and brāhmaṇas, princes and men, that I was a Full and Perfect Sambuddha with unsurpassed complete awakening. To me knowledge and insight arose:

Sure is my liberation of mind
this is my last birth
now there is no continuation of existence.”

[The First Attainment]

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, to the venerable Koṇḍañña the dust-free, stainless, Vision-of-the-Dhamma arose: Comm: together with 180,000,000 divinities he was established in the Fruit of Stream-Entry. Jā Nid and Mahāvastu agree with this number.05

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

[The Gods Rejoice]

Now when the Dhamma Wheel was set rolling by the Gracious One the Earth gods In the enumeration of the 31 Planes of Existence the Bhummā devā are not normally counted as a separate group, but are included in the realm of the Four Great Kings.06 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 brāhmaṇa or by a god or by a Māra or by a Brahmā or by anyone in the world.”

Having heard the cry of the Earth gods the gods called the Four Great Kings 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 brāhmaṇa or by a god or by a Māra or by a Brahmā or by anyone in the world.”

Having heard the cry of the gods called the Four Great Kings the Tāvatiṁsa 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 brāhmaṇa or by a god or by a Māra or by a Brahmā or by anyone in the world.”

Having heard the cry of the Tāvatiṁsa gods the Yāma 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 brāhmaṇa or by a god or by a Māra or by a Brahmā or by anyone in the world.”

Having heard the cry of the Yāma gods the Tusita 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 brāhmaṇa or by a god or by a Māra or by a Brahmā or by anyone in the world.”

Having heard the cry of the Tusita gods the Nimmāṇarati 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 brāhmaṇa or by a god or by a Māra or by a Brahmā or by anyone in the world.”

Having heard the cry of the Nimmāṇarati gods the Paranimmitavasavatti 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 brāhmaṇa or by a god or by a Māra or by a Brahmā or by anyone in the world.”

Having heard the cry of the Paranimmitavasavatti gods the Brahmakāyika gods All the gods so far belong to the Sensual World, but the Brahmakāyikā devā, of which there are 16 kinds (all listed separately in the Safeguard version of this discourse), belong to the Form World.07 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 brāhmaṇa 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).