The Discourse about the Great Emancipation

[The Third Chapter for Recitation]

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[18: The Relinquishment of the Life Process]

Then the Wicked Māra, not long after venerable Ānanda had gone, approached the Gracious One, and after approaching, he stood on one side. While standing on one side the Wicked Māra said this to the Gracious One:

“May the Gracious One attain Final Emancipation now, reverend Sir, may the Fortunate One attain Final Emancipation, now is the time, reverend Sir, for the Gracious One's Final Emancipation. For these words, reverend Sir, were spoken by the Gracious One:

‘I will not attain Final Emancipation, Wicked One, for as long as my monks are not (true) disciples, accomplished, disciplined, confident, learned, bearers of the Teaching, practising in conformity with the Teaching, correct in their practice, living in conformity with the Teaching, and having learned it from their own teacher, will declare, reveal, make known, set forth, open up, analyse, make plain - after giving a good rebuke with reason to the doctrines of others that have arisen - and teach the miraculous Teaching.’ There are 3 types of miracles (pāṭihāriya): miraculous powers (iddhipāṭihāriya), prophecy (ādesanāpāṭihāriya), and the miracle of instruction (anusāsanīpāṭihāriya); it is the last which is intended here. It does not mean the Teaching accompanied by miracles.01

But at present, reverend Sir, the Gracious One's monks are (true) disciples, accomplished, disciplined, confident, learned, bearers of the Teaching, practising in conformity with the Teaching, correct in their practice, living in conformity with the Teaching, and having learned it from their own teacher, do declare, reveal, make known, set forth, open up, analyse, make plain - after giving a good rebuke with reason to the doctrines of others that have arisen - and teach the miraculous Teaching.

May the Gracious One attain Final Emancipation now, reverend Sir, may the Fortunate One attain Final Emancipation, now is the time, reverend Sir, for the Gracious One's Final Emancipation. For these words, reverend Sir, were spoken by the Gracious One:

‘I will not attain Final Emancipation, Wicked One, for as long as my nuns are not (true) disciples, accomplished, disciplined, confident, learned, bearers of the Teaching, practising in conformity with the Teaching, correct in their practice, living in conformity with the Teaching, and having learned it from their own teacher, will declare, reveal, make known, set forth, open up, analyse, make plain - after giving a good rebuke with reason to the doctrines of others that have arisen - and teach the miraculous Teaching.’

But at present, reverend Sir, the Gracious One's nuns are (true) disciples, accomplished, disciplined, confident, learned, bearers of the Teaching, practising in conformity with the Teaching, correct in their practice, living in conformity with the Teaching, and having learned it from their own teacher, do declare, reveal, make known, set forth, open up, analyse, make plain - after giving a good rebuke with reason to the doctrines of others that have arisen - and teach the miraculous Teaching.

May the Gracious One attain Final Emancipation now, reverend Sir, may the Fortunate One attain Final Emancipation, now is the time, reverend Sir, for the Gracious One's Final Emancipation. For these words, reverend Sir, were spoken by the Gracious One:

‘I will not attain Final Emancipation, Wicked One, for as long as my laymen are not (true) disciples, accomplished, disciplined, confident, learned, bearers of the Teaching, practising in conformity with the Teaching, correct in their practice, living in conformity with the Teaching, and having learned it from their own teacher, will declare, reveal, make known, set forth, open up, analyse, make plain - after giving a good rebuke with reason to the doctrines of others that have arisen - and teach the miraculous Teaching.’

But at present, reverend Sir, the Gracious One's laymen are (true) disciples, accomplished, disciplined, confident, learned, bearers of the Teaching, practising in conformity with the Teaching, correct in their practice, living in conformity with the Teaching, and having learned it from their own teacher, do declare, reveal, make known, set forth, open up, analyse, make plain - after giving a good rebuke with reason to the doctrines of others that have arisen - and teach the miraculous Teaching.

May the Gracious One attain Final Emancipation now, reverend Sir, may the Fortunate One attain Final Emancipation, now is the time, reverend Sir, for the Gracious One's Final Emancipation. For these words, reverend Sir, were spoken by the Gracious One:

‘I will not attain Final Emancipation, Wicked One, for as long as my laywomen are not (true) disciples, accomplished, disciplined, confident, learned, bearers of the Teaching, practising in conformity with the Teaching, correct in their practice, living in conformity with the Teaching, and having learned it from their own teacher, will declare, reveal, make known, set forth, open up, analyse, make plain - after giving a good rebuke with reason to the doctrines of others that have arisen - and teach the miraculous Teaching.’

But at present, reverend Sir, the Gracious One's laywomen are (true) disciples, accomplished, disciplined, confident, learned, bearers of the Teaching, practising in conformity with the Teaching, correct in their practice, living in conformity with the Teaching, and having learned it from their own teacher, do declare, reveal, make known, set forth, open up, analyse, make plain - after giving a good rebuke with reason to the doctrines of others that have arisen - and teach the miraculous Teaching.

May the Gracious One attain Final Emancipation now, reverend Sir, may the Fortunate One attain Final Emancipation, now is the time, reverend Sir, for the Gracious One's Final Emancipation. For these words, reverend Sir, were spoken by the Gracious One:

‘I will not attain Final Emancipation, Wicked One, for as long as this spiritual life of mine has not become successful and prosperous, well spread-out, possessed by many, become great, until it is well-explained amongst Divinities and men.’

But at present, reverend Sir, the Gracious One's spiritual life is successful and prosperous, well spread-out, possessed by many, become great, it is well-explained amongst Divinities and men. May the Gracious One attain Final Emancipation now, reverend Sir, may the Fortunate One attain Final Emancipation, now is the time, reverend Sir, for the Gracious One's Final Emancipation.”

When that was said the Gracious One said this to the Wicked Māra: “You should have little concern, Wicked One, in no long time the Realised One will be Finally Emancipated, after three months have passed from now, the Realised One will attain Final Emancipation.”

Then at the Cāpāla shrine the Gracious One, mindfully, with full awareness, relinquished the life-process. With the relinquishment of the life-process by the Gracious One there was a great earthquake, and a fearful, horrifying crash of the Divinities' (thunder) drum.

Then the Gracious One, having understood the significance of it, on that occasion uttered this exalted utterance:

“Measurable and immeasurable continuity,
And the continuation-process the Sage relinquished.
Content in himself, and concentrated,
He broke continuity of self like a coat of mail.”