The Discourse about the Great Emancipation

[The Third Chapter for Recitation]

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[23: Ānanda's Fault] I have omitted sections 20-22 believing them to be later additions to the text.01

At one time Ānanda I was living at Uruvelā, on the bank of the river Nerañjarā, at the root of the Goatherd's Banyan tree, in the first (period) after attaining Awakening. The Commentary explains that this was in the eighth week after attaining the Final Awakening in the vicinity of the Bodhi Tree (Sambodhipattiyā aṭṭhame sattāhe Bodhimaṇḍe).02 Then, Ānanda, the Wicked Māra approached me, and after approaching he stood on one side. While standing to one side, Ānanda, the Wicked Māra said this to me:

“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.”

After this was said, Ānanda, I said this to the Wicked Māra: “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.

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.

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.

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.

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.”

Now today, Ānanda, at the Cāpāla Shrine the Wicked Māra approached me, and after approaching he stood on one side. While standing on one side the Wicked Māra said this to me:

‘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.”

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 the Gracious One has said these words:

“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 the Gracious One has said these words:

“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 the Gracious One has said these words:

“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 the Gracious One has said these words:

“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, Ānanda, I 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.’ Now today, Ānanda, at the Cāpāla Shrine the Realised One mindfully, with full awareness, gave up the life-process.”

When this was said venerable Ānanda said this to the Gracious One: “Let the Gracious One remain, reverend Sir, for the lifespan, let the Fortunate One remain for the lifespan, for the benefit of many people, for the happiness of many people, having compassion on the world, for the welfare, benefit, and happiness of Divinities and men.”

“Enough, Ānanda, do not beg the Realised One, now is the wrong time, Ānanda, for begging the Realised One.”

For a second time venerable Ānanda said this to the Gracious One:

“Let the Gracious One remain, reverend Sir, for the lifespan, let the Fortunate One remain for the lifespan, for the benefit of many people, for the happiness of many people, having compassion on the world, for the welfare, benefit, and happiness of Divinities and men.”

“Enough, Ānanda, do not beg the Realised One, now is the wrong time, Ānanda, for begging the Realised One.”

For a third time venerable Ānanda said this to the Gracious One:

“Let the Gracious One remain, reverend Sir, for the lifespan, let the Fortunate One remain for the lifespan, for the benefit of many people, for the happiness of many people, having compassion on the world, for the welfare, benefit, and happiness of Divinities and men.”

“Do you, Ānanda, have faith in the Realised One's Awakening?”

“Yes, reverend Sir,”

“Then why do you, Ānanda, harrass the Realised One up and till the third time?”

“Face to face with me, reverend Sir, face to face I have heard (you say): ‘Whoever has developed, Ānanda, made much of, carried on, established, maintained, augmented, and properly instigated the Four Paths to Power, could, if he wanted, remain for the lifespan or for what is left of the lifespan. The Realised One has developed, Ānanda, made much of, carried on, established, maintained, augmented, and properly instigated the Four Paths to Power. If he wanted, Ānanda, the Realised One could remain for the lifespan or for what is left of the lifespan.’ ”

“Do you have faith, Ānanda?”

“Yes, reverend Sir,”

“Then, Ānanda, there is this wrong-doing for you, there is this fault for you, in that you, despite such a gross hint being made by the Realised One, such a gross suggestion being made, was unable to penetrate it, and did not beg the Realised One, (saying):

‘May the Gracious One remain, reverend Sir, for the lifespan; may the Fortunate One remain for the lifespan, for the benefit of many people, for the happiness of many people, out of compassion for the world, for the welfare, benefit, and happiness of Divinities and men.’

If you, Ānanda, had begged the Realised One twice the Realised One might have rejected your speech, but would have accepted it on the third occasion. So, Ānanda, there is this wrong-doing for you, there is this fault for you.