Cūḷavedallasuttaṁ
The Small Discourse giving an Elaboration
(MN 44 & MA)

A Pāli and English line by line (interlinear) version of an important discourse and its commentary in which one of the Buddha’s senior nun disciples gives a teaching to her former husband (together with extensive annotation).

edited and translated by
Ānandajoti Bhikkhu
(September 2014/2558)

 

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Texts and Introduction

The Commentarial Introduction

The Small Discourse giving an Elaboration

The Commentarial Conclusion

 

Texts and Introduction

 

Main Text

BJT: Śrī Laṁkan edition, from the Buddha Jayanti Tripitaka Series, Volume X (Colombo, 1964/2508, reprinted with corrections 2005). The most reliable and the clearest edition.

PTS: European edition, Majjhima-nikāya, Vol. I, (London 1888, reprinted Oxford, 1979). This edition is heavily abbreviated, over and above the normal peyyāla passages, and difficult to reconstruct.

RTE: Royal Thai edition, as found on Budsir for Windows CD-ROM (version 2.0, Bangkok, 1996). This edition is the most problematic in its readings, often finding readings unknown elsewhere. See the discussion of some of these readings in the Introduction below.01

ChS: Burmese edition as found on the Chaṭṭha Saṅgāyana CD-ROM (version 3, Igaturi, no date but = 1999). Has all the normal problems associated with the Burmese texts, like spelling differences, and attempts to rectify what it feels is wrong metre.

MLD: Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha, translated by Bhikkhu Ñāṇamoli and Bhikkhu Bodhi (2nd edition, Wisdom Publications, Somerville, 2001). A readable translation, but it is spoilt in places by being little more than an elliptic paraphrase, which glosses over many of the problems in the text.

 

Commentarial Introduction

ChS-A: Burmese edition as found on the Chaṭṭha Saṅgāyana CD-ROM (version 3, Igaturi, no date but = 1999).

PTS-A: European edition, Papañcasūdanī, Majjhimanikāyaṭṭhakathā of Buddhaghosācariya, Vol. II, (London 1928, reprinted London, 1979).

 

Note

In the main text there is only one major difference in the readings between the editions, others being trivial: when the questions are asked about the complements to Unpleasant and Pleasant Feeling, all texts except RTE give the answers as Pleasant and Unpleasant Feeling. RTE however states they are passion (rāga) and repulsion (paṭigha).

Interestingly, the complement to Neither-Unpleasant-nor-Pleasant is said by all editions to be ignorance (avijjā), which is the tendency (anusaya), and passion and repulsion are also tendencies. As either could be counted as complements, it is difficult to decide which reading is correct, I have therefore taken the majority reading on this.

 

Introduction

What follows is a record of a conversation between the Arahat nun Dhammadinnā and her ex-husband, the Non-Returner (Anāgāmī) Visākha. The basis for the story is that Visākha had been amongst the first to hear the newly awakened Buddha teach, and had on that occasion attained Stream Entry, and subsequently the state of a Non-Returner.

As he was no longer able to live a normal householder’s life his wife Dhammadinnā decides to go forth herself, and in no long time she attains Arahatship while in the countryside. She then returns to the capital, and Visākha, hearing of her sudden return, decides to visit her to find out if she is dissatisfied, or if she has understood the teaching.

Rather than asking her directly, however, he decides to ask her questions on the teaching, and to judge for himself from the answers she gives. The discourse then consists of a series of questions asked by Visākha and the profound answers given by Ven Dhammadinnā.

It should be noted that this is a very important turn of events given the context of ancient Indian society, for here it is the woman who attains to the higher level, and the ex-wife is now seen as able to teach her husband, and the husband as willing to learn from her.

At the end of the discourse Visākha relates all that passed between them to the Buddha and he confirms that the teaching is exactly as he would have given it himself, thereby making it his own word (Buddhavacana).

* * *

The questions are arranged in series, and mainly follow on from the answer that was previously given, probing into the depths of the teachings given by the Buddha, and Dhammadinnā’s own experience and understanding of the practices entailed.

The first set of questions (1-7) are about the meaning of embodiment, its arising, cessation and the path to the cessation; and related questions on the twenty kinds of embodiment view, how they arise and how they do not arise.

The next set (8-11) concern the eightfold noble path, its definition, its conditionality, and how it is organised, which is followed by a question about concentration, its causes, accessories and development.

We then move on to a set of questions (12-14) about bodily, verbal and mental processes and their definitions. The next set of questions about the cessation of perception and feeling (15-20) segue very nicely with the preceding set, and further expand on the answers given there.

There is then a set of questions on feelings (21-26), what they are, their types, definitions, and the tendencies that underlie them. There follows a set on various complements (27-33), beginning with complements to the three feelings and moving step by step to the ultimate question about Nibbāna. At this point Ven Dhammadinnā, doubting his ability to understand it, asks Visākha to speak to the Buddha himself.

The title Vedalla given to this discourse, which I translate here as Elaboration, is also one of the categories in the nine-fold division of the teaching, and seems to correspond to the Sanskrit word Vaipulya. It may arise because of the ever-deepening nature of the sets of questions, which start out with a simple question, often requiring a definition, which is then probed into, sometimes in a very deep and subtle way.

For instance in the set of questions about the eightfold path, first it is enumerated, then there are questions about its conditionality, its constituents and a deep question about its final member, concentration. The same applies to the other factors which are asked about, and this pattern seems to appear in other discourses designated as Vedalla also. Besides this discourse the comms. list MN 43, 9, 109 and DN 21, besides an unidentified discourse, the Saṅkhārabhājanīyasutta, as examples of the genre. 02

* * *

There are a couple of anomalies in the text as it stands: when asked how does one enter and emerge from the cessation of perception and feeling, Dhammadinnā doesn’t really answer, but gives an interesting statement that one who is entering that state doesn’t think he will enter, he is entering or that he has entered (or emerged), but only that his mind has been developed so well that that is what happens.

When asked about the complement of the unconditioned Nibbāna, Dhammadinnā first says it is beyond Visākha’s ability to understand, and then sends him to the Buddha if he wants to understand it. When he follows this advice, however, the Buddha has no further instruction for him, and simply confirms Ven Dhammadinnā’s teaching up to that point.

These incidences, and the differences that are apparent in the parallel versions of the discourse, For a discussion of the different versions of the text, see Anālayo, A Comparative Study of the Majjhima-nikāya 2011, pp.278-286; and Chos sbyin gyi mdo (2011).03 make it highly likely that the Pāḷi version has suffered textual corruption in its transmission in certain places, which would explain how these anomalies have entered the text.

* * *

It was on the basis of the teaching given in this discourse, which is the most extensive we have from a nun in the Lord Buddha’s own time, that the Buddha placed this Elder Nun in the foremost position in the Dispensation amongst those who teach the Dhamma, and she is remembered and honoured for this accomplishment to this day.

It should also be noted that she is recorded in the commentarial tradition as having been an inspiring teacher, and Sukkā, being inspired by her, went forth and attained Arahatship.

Another sister called Vaḍḍhesī, who had been amongst the five hundred who followed Mahāpajāpatī when she ordained, also took Dhammadinnā as teacher, and after being tormented for years by lust was able to throw it off and attain Liberation. Her verses may serve as a further testament to Ven. Dhammadinnā’s standing:

It is twenty-five years since I have gone forth,
but not even for a snap of the fingers did I attain calm of mind.
Not obtaining mental peace, soaked with sensual desire,
raising my arms and wailing, I entered the monastery.

I approached the nun (Dhammadinnā), who seemed trustworthy to me,
she taught me the Dhamma: constituents, spheres and elements.

After listening to her Dhamma and taking a seat on one side,
I came to know my past lives, I have purified the divine eye,
I have knowledge of others’ minds, I have purified the divine ear.
I have realised spiritual power, the destruction of the pollutants was attained by me,
I have realised the six deep knowledges, and have fulfilled the Buddha’s teaching.

Ānandajoti Bhikkhu
September 2014

 

The Commentarial Introduction
(from MA 44)

So yadā Bhagavā Sammāsambodhiṁ abhisambujjhitvā,
After the Gracious One completely awakened to Perfect Awakening,

pavattavara-Dhammacakko, RTE: pavattitavara-.04 Yasādayo kulaputte vinetvā, PTS: vinento.05
turned the auspicious Dhamma Wheel, instructed Yasa, the son of a good family,

Uruvelaṁ patvā, tattha jaṭilasahassaṁ vinetvā,
arrived at Uruvelā, and there instructed the thousand yogis,

purāṇajaṭilehi khīṇāsavabhikkhūhi saddhiṁ Rājagahaṁ gantvā,
and together with the former yogis, who were now pollutant-free monks, went to Rājagaha,

Buddhadassanatthaṁ dvādasanahutāya parisāya saddhiṁ
° he preached Dhamma to King Bimbisāra and the assembly of twelve myriads

āgatassa Bimbisāramahārājassa PTS: Bimbisārassa mahārājassa.06 Dhammaṁ desesi.
who had come in order to see the Awakened One.

Tadā Raññā saddhiṁ āgatesu dvādasanahutesu
From that twelve myriads who came together with the King

ekaṁ nahutaṁ upāsakattaṁ paṭivedesi,
one myriad announced they were devotees,

ekādasa nahutāni Sotāpattiphale patiṭṭhahiṁsu saddhiṁ Raññā Bimbisārena.
and eleven myriads were established in the fruit of Stream Entry along with King Bimbisāra.

Ayaṁ upāsako tesaṁ aññataro,
This devotee (Visākha) was one amongst them,

tehi saddhiṁ paṭhamadassaneva RTE: -dassaneyeva.07 Sotāpattiphale patiṭṭhāya,
and at the first meeting he was established with them in the fruit of Stream Entry,

puna ekadivasaṁ, Dhammaṁ sutvā, RTE, ChS add: Sakadāgāmiphalaṁ patvā tato aparabhāge pi ekadivasaṁ, Dhammaṁ sutvā.08 Anāgāmiphale patiṭṭhito.
and again afterwards on another day, after hearing the Dhamma he was established in the fruit of a Non-Returner.

So Anāgāmī hutvā gehaṁ āgacchanto ‘yathā aññesu divasesu,
After becoming a Non-Returner unlike when returning to the home on other days,

ito cito ca olokento sitaṁ kurumāno hasamāno ChS omits: hasamāno.09 āgacchati,
when he came looking round here and there laughing and smiling,

evaṁ anāgantvā, santindriyo santamānaso hutvā āgamāsi. ChS: agamāsi.10
he didn’t come in this way, but he came with calmed faculties and calmed mind.

Dhammadinnā sīhapañjaraṁ ugghāṭetvā,
(His wife) Dhammadinnā got up from the couch,

vīthiṁ olokayamānā tassa āgamanākāraṁ RTE: āgamanakāraṇaṁ.11 disvā,
and looking down the road saw the way he was coming,

‘Kiṁ nu kho etan?’-ti cintetvā tassa paccuggamanaṁ kurumānā
and thought: ‘Why (is he) like this?’ and making her way out to meet him

sopānasīse ṭhatvā olambanatthaṁ hatthaṁ pasāresi.
stood at the top of the stairs and stretched out her hand in order to support him.

Upāsako attano hatthaṁ sammiñjesi. RTE, ChS: samiñjesi.12
The devotee waved (her away with) his hand.

Sā: ‘Pātarāsabhojanakāle jānissāmī,’ ti cintesi.
She thought: ‘I will see during the morning meal.’

Upāsako pubbe tāya saddhiṁ ekato bhuñjati.
Formerly the devotee ate together with her.

Taṁ divasaṁ pana taṁ anapaloketvā RTE: anavaloketvā.13
But that day without even looking round

yogāvacarabhikkhu PTS: yogāvacaro bhikkhu.14 viya ekako va bhuñji.
he ate on his own like a meditating monk.

Sā: ‘Sāyanhakāle PTS, RTE: Sayanhakāle.15 jānissāmī,’ ti cintesi.
She thought: ‘I will see during the evening time.’

Upāsako taṁ divasaṁ sirigabbhaṁ na pāvisi,
That day the devotee didn’t enter the bedroom,

aññaṁ gabbhaṁ paṭijaggāpetvā, kappiyamañcakaṁ paññapetvā PTS: paññāpāpetvā; ChS: paññapetvā.16 nipajji.
but set another to watch over the chamber, prepared a suitable bed and lay down.

Upāsikā: ‘Kiṁ nu khvassa PTS: kho.17 bahiddhā patthanā atthi,
The female devotee, thinking: ‘I wonder if he has desire for someone else, Lit: for an outsider. 18

udāhu kenacid-eva paribhedakena bhinno, RTE: bhikanno?19
or, something was said by a slanderer,

udāhu mayheva koci doso atthī?’ ti
or, whatever can my fault be?’

balavadomanassā hutvā,
and she became depressed,

‘Ekaṁ dve PTS: ekadve.20 divase vasitakāle sakkā ñātun,’-ti
thinking: ‘I am able to live like this for one or two days only’,

tassa upaṭṭhānaṁ gantvā vanditvā aṭṭhāsi.
having gone to wait on him she worshipped him and stood there.

Upāsako: “Kiṁ Dhammadinne akāle āgatāsī?” ti pucchi.
The devotee asked: “Has Dhammadinnā come at this time?”

“Āma, Ayyaputta, āgatāmhi, na tvaṁ yathā purāṇo, PTS: porāṇo.21
“Yes, Noble Sir, I have come, you are not like before,

kiṁ nu te bahiddhā patthanā atthī?” ti
is there desire for someone else?”

“Natthi Dhammadinne.” ti
“There is not, Dhammadinnā.”

“Añño koci paribhedako atthī?” ti
“Is there some kind of slander?”

“Ayam-pi natthī.” ti
“Not that.”

“Evaṁ sante, mayheva koci doso bhavissatī?” ti
“That being so, (then) whatever can my fault be?”

“Tuyham-pi doso natthī.” ti
“You have no fault.”

“Atha kasmā mayā saddhiṁ yathāpakatiyā
° “Then why do you not make

allāpasallāpamattam-pi ChS: ālāpa-22 na karothā?” ti
conversation with me as normal?”

So cintesi: ‘Ayaṁ lokuttaradhammo nāma garu bhāriyo na pakāsetatabbo, PTS: nappakāsetatabbo.23
He thought: ‘I should not broadcast this supermundane (attainment), which is a weighty and serious (matter),

sace kho panāhaṁ na kathessāmi,
but if I don’t speak,

ayaṁ hadayaṁ phāletvā ettheva kālaṁ kareyyā,’ ti
her heart might break right now and she might die,’

tassā anuggahatthāya PTS: tassa anuggahatthāya; giving a wrong gender for the pronoun; ChS: tassāanuggahatthāya.24 kathesi:
so having sympathy for her, he said:

“Dhammadinne, ahaṁ Satthu Dhammadesanaṁ sutvā,
“Dhammadinnā, having heard the Teacher teach the Dhamma,

lokuttaradhammaṁ nāma adhigato,
I attained what is known as the supermundane state,

taṁ adhigatassa evarūpā lokiyakiriyā na vaṭṭati.
and with that attainment such mundane actions are no longer suitable.

Yadi tvaṁ icchasi, tava cattālīsa PTS: cattālisa; also next instance.25 koṭiyo mama cattālīsa koṭiyo ti
If you wish, with your four-hundred millions and my four-hundred millions

asītikoṭidhanaṁ atthi,
there are eighty millions,

ettha issarā hutvā, mama Mātiṭṭhāne vā Bhaginiṭṭhāne vā ṭhatvā, vasa,
take control of this, and be in the position of a Mother or Sister to me, and live on that,

Tayā dinnena bhattapiṇḍamattena RTE, ChS: -mattakena.26 ahaṁ yāpessāmi.
I can carry on with as little as a ball of rice given by you.

Athevaṁ na karosi, ime bhoge gahetvā, kulagehaṁ gaccha.
If such will not do, then take the wealth and return to your family home.

Athāpi te bahiddhā patthanā natthi, PTS: atthi; reversing the meaning.27
Or if there is no one else you desire,

ahaṁ taṁ Bhaginiṭṭhāne vā Dhituṭṭhāne RTE: dhītuṭṭhāne.28 vā ṭhapetvā posessāmī.” ti RTE: posissāmī ti.29
I will place you in the position of a Sister or a Daughter and look after you.”

Sā cintesi: ‘Pakatipuriso evaṁ vattā nāma natthi.
She thought: ‘It is no ordinary person who is speaking thus.

Addhā etena lokuttaradhammo ChS: lokuttaravaradhammo.30 paṭividdho.
Surely the supermundane state has been penetrated by him.

So pana dhammo kiṁ puriseheva paṭivijjhitabbo, ChS: paṭibujjhitabbo.31
But can this state only be penetrated by men,

udāhu mātugāmo pi paṭivijjhituṁ sakkotī?’ ti
or is it possible for a woman to penetrate it?’

Visākhaṁ etad-avoca:
She said this to Visākha:

“Kiṁ nu kho eso dhammo puriseheva labhitabbo,
“Can this state only be attained by men,

mātugāmena pi sakkā laddhun?”-ti
or can a woman also attain it?”

“Kiṁ vadesi, Dhammadinne, ye paṭipannakā, te etassa dāyādā,
“What did you say, Dhammadinnā, for those who are practiced, theirs is the inheritance,

yassa yassa upanissayo atthi, so so etaṁ paṭilabhatī.” ti
for whoever there is a basis, for him there is the attainment.”

“Evaṁ sante, mayhaṁ pabbajjaṁ anujānāthā.” ti
“If that is so, please allow my going forth.”

“Sādhu, Bhadde, aham-pi taṁ PTS omits: taṁ.32 etasmiṁ yeva magge yojetukāmo,
“Very well, Bhaddā, This appears to be an affectionate name for her. 33 if this is the path you want to apply yourself to,

manaṁ pana te ajānamāno na kathemī.” ti
not knowing your mind (previously) I did not speak.”

Tāvad-eva Bimbisārassa Rañño PTS omits: Rañño.34 santikaṁ gantvā vanditvā aṭṭhāsi.
Then he went to King Bimbisāra, worshipped him and stood there.

Rājā: “Kiṁ, gahapati, akāle āgatosī?” ti pucchi.
The King asked: “Why have you come at this time, householder?”

“Dhammadinnā: ‘Mahārāja, pabbajissāmī,’ ti vadatī.” ti
“Dhammadinnā says: ‘Great King, I would go forth.”

“Kiṁ panassā RTE, ChS: panassa; giving a wrong gender for the pronoun.35 laddhuṁ vaṭṭatī?” ti
“But what is suitable to provide for her?”

“Aññaṁ kiñci natthi, sovaṇṇasivikaṁ, Deva, laddhuṁ vaṭṭati,
“It is suitable to provide nothing other than a golden palanquin, God-King,

nagarañ-ca paṭijaggāpetun.”-ti
and the cleaning of the city.”

Rājā sovaṇṇasivikaṁ datvā nagaraṁ paṭijaggāpesi.
The King gave the golden palanquin and had the city cleaned.

Visākho Dhammadinnaṁ gandhodakena nahāpetvā,
Visākha had Dhammadinnā washed with scented water,

sabbālaṅkārehi alaṅkārāpetvā, PTS: alaṅkarāpetvā.36 sovaṇṇasivikāya nisīdāpetvā,
decorated with all her decorations, sat her down in the golden palanquin,

ñātigaṇena PTS: ñātigaṇe.37 parivārāpetvā, gandhapupphādīhi pūjayamāno,
gathered their relations around her, and while worshipping with scented flowers and so on,

nagaravāsanaṁ karonto viya bhikkhuni-upassayaṁ RTE: bhikkhunūpassayaṁ; also below.38 gantvā,
as though he was perfuming the city, he took her to the nunnery,

“Ayye, Dhammadinnaṁ pabbājethā,” ChS: Dhammadinnaṁ pabbājethāyye ti.39 ti āha.
and said: “Noble Ladies, you must give Dhammadinnā the going forth.”

Bhikkhuniyo: “Ekaṁ vā dve vā dose sahituṁ vaṭṭati, gahapatī,” ti āhaṁsu.
The nuns said: “Householder, it is suitable to bear with one or two faults.”

“Natth’ PTS: Na.40 Ayye koci doso, saddhāya pabbajatī.” ti
“There are no faults at all, Noble Ladies, she goes forth out of faith.”

Athekā byattā Therī tacapañcakakammaṭṭhānaṁ ācikkhitvā,
Then one learned Elder nun informed her about the five-fold meditation subject beginning with skin, This is the meditation on the foulness of the body, beginning: kesā, lomā, nakhā, dantā, taco (hairs of the head, body hairs, nails, teeth, skin), which is repeated in forward and reverse order. 41

kese ohāretvā pabbājesi.
shaved her hair and gave her the going forth.

Visākho: “Abhiram’ Ayye, svākkhāto Dhammo,” ti vanditvā pakkāmi.
Visākha said: “Rejoice in the well-taught Dhamma, Noble Lady,” then worshipped her and departed.

Tassā pabbajitadivasato paṭṭhāya lābhasakkāro uppajji.
From the day she went forth many gains and much honour arose to her.

Teneva PTS, RTE: Tena.42 palibuddhā samaṇadhammaṁ kātuṁ okāsaṁ na labhati.
Because of that there were obstacles and no chance to develop the ascetic practices.

Athācariya-upajjhāyatheriyo RTE: Athācariyūpajjhāya-.43 gahetvā, janapadaṁ gantvā,
Then taking the Elder nuns who were her Teacher and Preceptor, she went to the countryside,

aṭṭhatiṁsāya RTE: aṭṭhattiṁsāya.44 ārammaṇesu cittarucitaṁ PTS: cittarucikaṁ.45 kammaṭṭhānaṁ kathāpetvā,
made them explain the thirty-eight meditation objects that delight the mind,

samaṇadhammaṁ kātuṁ āraddhā,
and she began to develop the ascetic practices,

abhinīhārasampannattā pana nāticiraṁ kilamittha.
and being endowed with resolution she did not tire easily.

Ito paṭṭhāya hi satasahassakappamatthake
A hundred thousand aeons in the past from now

Padumuttaro nāma Satthā loke udapādi.
the Teacher Padumuttara arose in the world.

Tadā esā ekasmiṁ kule dāsī hutvā, attano kese vikkiṇitvā,
At that time she had become a servant to one family, then having sold her hair,

Sujātattherassa nāma Aggasāvakassa dānaṁ datvā, patthanam-akāsi.
she gave a gift to (the Buddha’s) Chief Disciple, the Elder Sujāta, and made an aspiration.

Sā tāya patthanābhinīhārasampattiyā nāticiraṁ kilamittha,
Through her being endowed with that aspiration and resolution she did not tire easily,

katipāheneva Arahattaṁ patvā cintesi:
and in a very few days, having attained Liberation, she thought:

“Ahaṁ yenatthena Sāsane pabbajitā, so matthakaṁ patto,
“I ordained in this Dispensation for a purpose, the summit has been attained,

kiṁ me janapadavāsena mayhaṁ ñātakā pi puññāni karissanti? PTS punctuates this line differently: kiṁ me janapadavāsena? Mayhaṁ ñātakā pi puññāni karissanti.46
how will my relatives make merit with me in the countryside?

Bhikkhunisaṅgho pi RTE omits: pi.47 paccayehi na kilamissati, Rājagahaṁ gacchāmī,” ti
Also the Community of nuns should not be tired out with the (lack of) requisites, I am going to Rājagaha,”

Bhikkhunisaṅghaṁ gahetvā Rājagaham-eva agamāsi.
and taking the Community of nuns she went to Rājagaha.

Visākho: “Dhammadinnā kira āgatā,” ti sutvā,
Visākha, having heard: “Dhammadinnā has come, it seems,”

‘Pabbajitvā nacirasseva janapadaṁ gatā,
thought: ‘Not long after her going forth she went to the country,

gantvā pi nacirasseva paccāgatā,
and not long after going she returns again,

kiṁ nu kho bhavissati? Gantvā jānissāmī,’ ti
what can be up? I will go and see,’

dutiyagamanena bhikkhuni-upassayaṁ agamāsi.
and he came to the nunnery with a second person.

* * *

Evaṁ kirassa ahosi:
(And) he thought this it seems:

‘Abhiramasi nābhiramasi, Ayye?’ ti RTE, PTS: Ayye, abhiramasi nābhiramasī ti.48
‘Do you take delight, or do you not take delight, Noble Lady?’

Evaṁ pucchanaṁ nāma na paṇḍitakiccaṁ,
(But) this sort of questioning is not for a wise man,

pañcupādānakkhandhe upanetvā, pañhaṁ pucchissāmi,
(so) having brought up the five constituents (of mind and body) that provide fuel for attachment, I will question her with a question,

pañhabyākaraṇenevassā PTS: pañhabyākaraṇen’ ev’ assā; ChS: pañhabyākaraṇena tassā.49 abhiratiṁ vā anabhiratiṁ vā jānissāmī.’ ti
by her answer to the question I will know whether she has delight or no delight.’

 

Cūḷavedallasuttaṁ (MN 44)
The Small Discourse giving an Elaboration

Introduction

Evaṁ me sutaṁ:
Thus I heard:

ekaṁ samayaṁ Bhagavā Rājagahe viharati
At one time the Gracious One was living near Rājagaha

Veḷuvane Kalandakanivāpe.
at the Squirrel’s Feeding Place in Bamboo Wood.

Atha kho Visākho upāsako yena Dhammadinnā bhikkhunī tenupasaṅkami,
The devotee Visākha approached the nun Dhammadinnā,

upasaṅkamitvā Dhammadinnaṁ BJT: Dhammadinnā.50 bhikkhuniṁ abhivādetvā, ekam-antaṁ nisīdi.
and after approaching and worshipping the nun Dhammadinnā, he sat on one side.

Ekam-antaṁ nisinno kho Visākho upāsako
While sitting on one side the devotee Visākha

Dhammadinnaṁ bhikkhuniṁ etad-avoca:
said this to the nun Dhammadinnā:

 

Q1. Embodiment

“ ‘Sakkāyo, sakkāyo,’ ti, Ayye, vuccati.
“ ‘Embodiment, embodiment,’ As we will see Visākha asks about embodiment in terms of the Four Noble Truths, and just as suffering is defined in terms of the constituents, so here is embodiment, and similarly with arising, cessation and Path. 51 is said, Noble Lady.

Katamo nu kho, Ayye, sakkāyo vutto Bhagavatā?” ti
What, Noble Lady, is said to be embodiment by the Gracious One?”

“Pañca kho ime, āvuso Visākha, upādānakkhandhā
“These five constituents (of mind and body) that provide fuel for attachment, friend Visākha,

sakkāyo vutto Bhagavatā, seyyathīdaṁ: ChS: seyyathidaṁ; throughout.52
are said to be embodiment by the Gracious One, as follows:

rūpūpādānakkhandho PTS: -upādāna-; similarly with all the constituents.53
the form constituent that provides fuel for attachment

vedanūpādānakkhandho
the feelings constituent that provides fuel for attachment

saññūpādānakkhandho
the perceptions constituent that provides fuel for attachment

saṅkhārūpādānakkhandho
the (mental) processes constituent that provides fuel for attachment

viññāṇūpādānakkhandho.
the consciousness constituent that provides fuel for attachment.

Ime kho, āvuso Visākha, pañcupādānakkhandhā sakkāyo vutto Bhagavatā.” ti
These are the five constituents (of mind and body) that provide fuel for attachment, friend Visākha, that are said to be embodiment by the Gracious One.”

“Sādh’ Ayye,” ti kho Visākho upāsako,
“Well said, Noble Lady,” said the devotee Visākha,

Dhammadinnāya bhikkhuniyā bhāsitaṁ abhinanditvā anumoditvā,
and after greatly rejoicing and gladly receiving this word of the nun Dhammadinnā,

Dhammadinnaṁ bhikkhuniṁ uttariṁ pañhaṁ apucchi:
he asked a further question to the nun Dhammadinnā:

 

Q2. Arising of Embodiment

“ ‘Sakkāyasamudayo sakkāyasamudayo,’ ti, Ayye, vuccati.
“ ‘The arising of embodiment, the arising of embodiment,’ is said, Noble Lady.

Katamo nu kho, Ayye, sakkāyasamudayo vutto Bhagavatā?” ti
What, Noble Lady, is said to be the arising of embodiment by the Gracious One?”

“Yā yaṁ, āvuso Visākha, taṇhā ponobhavikā, ChS, RTE: ponobbhavikā.54
“It is that craving which leads to continuation in existence, friend Visākha,

nandirāgasahagatā ChS: nandī-.55 tatratatrābhinandinī, seyyathīdaṁ:
which is connected with enjoyment and passion, greatly enjoying this and that, as follows:

kāmataṇhā
craving for sense pleasures

bhavataṇhā
craving for continuation

vibhavataṇhā.
craving for discontinuation.

Ayaṁ kho, āvuso Visākha, sakkāyasamudayo vutto Bhagavatā.” ti
This, friend Visākha, is said to be the arising of embodiment by the Gracious One.

 

Q3. Cessation of Embodiment

“ ‘Sakkāyanirodho sakkāyanirodho,’ ti Ayye, vuccati.
“ ‘The cessation of embodiment, the cessation of embodiment,’ is said, Noble Lady.

Katamo nu kho, Ayye, sakkāyanirodho vutto Bhagavatā?” ti
What, Noble Lady, is said to be the cessation of embodiment by the Gracious One?”

“Yo kho, āvuso Visākha, tassā yeva taṇhāya asesavirāganirodho,
“It is the complete fading away and cessation without remainder of that craving, friend Visākha,

cāgo paṭinissaggo mutti anālayo.
liberation, letting go, release and non-adherence.

Ayaṁ kho, āvuso Visākha, sakkāyanirodho vutto Bhagavatā.” ti
This, friend Visākha, is said to be the cessation of embodiment by the Gracious One.”

 

Q4. The Path Leading to the Cessation of Embodiment

“ ‘Sakkāyanirodhagāminī paṭipadā sakkāyanirodhagāminī paṭipadā’ ti,
“ ‘The path leading to the cessation of embodiment, the path leading to the cessation of embodiment,’

Ayye, vuccati.
is said, Noble Lady.

Katamā nu kho, Ayye, sakkāyanirodhagāminī paṭipadā vuttā Bhagavatā?” ti
What, Noble Lady, is said to be the path leading to the cessation of embodiment by the Gracious One?”

“Ayam-eva kho, āvuso Visākha, ariyo aṭṭhaṅgiko maggo, BJT, PTS, RTE add: sakkāyanirodhagāminī paṭipadā vuttā Bhagavatā.56 seyyathīdaṁ:
“It is this noble path with eight factors, friend Visākha, as follows:

sammādiṭṭhi, sammāsaṅkappo,
right view, right thought,

sammāvācā, sammākammanto,
right speech, right action,

sammā-ājīvo, sammāvāyāmo,
right livelihood, right endeavour,

sammāsati, sammāsamādhī.” ti
right mindfulness, right concentration.”

 

Q5. Attachment and the Five Constituents

“Tañ-ñeva nu kho, Ayye, upādānaṁ te pañcupādānakkhandhā,
“Is this attachment, Noble Lady, (the same as) these five constituents (of mind and body) that provide fuel for attachment,

udāhu aññatra pañcah’ upādānakkhandhehi upādānan?”-ti
or is attachment different from the five constituents (of mind and body) that provide fuel for attachment?” The question is asked to clarify the answer given to the first question about embodiment.57

“Na kho, āvuso Visākha, tañ-ñeva upādānaṁ RTE: taññevupādānaṁ.58 te BJT: teva.59 pañcupādānakkhandhā,
“This attachment, friend Visākha, is not (the same as) these five constituents (of mind and body) that provide fuel for attachment,

na pi ChS: nāpi.60 aññatra pañcah’ upādānakkhandhehi upādānaṁ.
nor is attachment different from the five constituents (of mind and body) that provide fuel for attachment.

Yo kho, āvuso Visākha, pañcasu BJT, PTS: pañcas’.61 upādānakkhandhesu chandarāgo
But whatever desire and passion there is for the five constituents (of mind and body) that provide fuel for attachment,

taṁ tattha upādānan.”-ti
that is the attachment right there.”

 

Q6. Embodiment View

“Kathaṁ pan’ Ayye, ChS: panāyye, throughout.62 sakkāyadiṭṭhi hotī?” ti
“But what, Noble Lady, is embodiment view?” Embodiment view is one of the first three fetters (saṁyojana) that are overcome when attaining Stream Entry; the others are uncertainty (vicikicchā) and (grasping at) virtue and practices (sīlabbataparāmāsa).63

“Idhāvuso Visākha, assutavā puthujjano,
“Here, friend Visākha, an unlearned worldling,

Ariyānaṁ adassāvī, Ariyadhammassa akovido ariyadhamme avinīto,
one who doesn’t meet the Noble Ones, who is unskilled in the Noble Dhamma, untrained in the Noble Dhamma,

Sappurisānaṁ adassāvī Sappurisadhammassa akovido sappurisadhamme avinīto,
one who doesn’t meet Good People, who is unskilled in the Good People’s Dhamma, untrained in the Good People’s Dhamma,

rūpaṁ attato samanupassati, rūpavantaṁ vā attānaṁ,
views bodily form as self, What follows enumerates the twenty types of embodiment view, which are four ways of identifying with each of the constituents. 64 or self as endowed with bodily form,

attani vā rūpaṁ, rūpasmiṁ vā attānaṁ.
or bodily form as in self, or self as in bodily form.

Vedanaṁ attato samanupassati, vedanāvantaṁ vā attānaṁ,
Views feeling as self, or self as endowed with feeling,

attani vā vedanaṁ, vedanāya vā attānaṁ.
or feeling as in self, or self as in feeling.

Saññaṁ attato samanupassati, saññāvantaṁ vā attānaṁ,
Views perception as self, or self as endowed with perception,

attani vā saññaṁ, saññāya vā attānaṁ.
or perception as in self, or self as in perception.

Saṅkhāre attato samanupassati, saṅkhāravantaṁ vā attānaṁ,
Views (volitional) processes as self, or self as endowed with (volitional) processes,

attani vā saṅkhāre, saṅkhāresu vā attānaṁ.
or (volitional) processes as in self, or self as in (volitional) processes.

Viññāṇaṁ attato samanupassati, viññāṇavantaṁ vā attānaṁ,
Views consciousness as self, or self as endowed with consciousness,

attani vā viññāṇaṁ, viññāṇasmiṁ vā attānaṁ.
or consciousness as in self, or self as in consciousness.

Evaṁ kho, āvuso Visākha, sakkāyadiṭṭhi hotī.” ti
This, friend Visākha, is embodiment view.”

 

Q7. No Embodiment View

“Kathaṁ pan’ Ayye, sakkāyadiṭṭhi na hotī?” ti
“But how, Noble Lady, is there no embodiment view?”

“Idhāvuso Visākha, sutavā ariyasāvako,
“Here, friend Visākha, a learned noble disciple,

Ariyānaṁ dassāvī, Ariyadhammassa kovido, Ariyadhamme suvinīto,
one who meets the Noble Ones, who is skilled in the Noble Dhamma, trained in the Noble Dhamma,

Sappurisānaṁ dassāvī, Sappurisadhammassa kovido, Sappurisadhamme suvinīto,
one who meets Good People, who is skilled in the Good People’s Dhamma, trained in the Good People’s Dhamma,

na rūpaṁ attato samanupassati, na rūpavantaṁ vā attānaṁ,
doesn’t view bodily form as self, or self as endowed with bodily form,

na attani vā rūpaṁ, na rūpasmiṁ vā attānaṁ.
or bodily form as in self, or self as in bodily form.

Na vedanaṁ attato samanupassati, na vedanāvantaṁ vā attānaṁ,
Doesn’t view feeling as self, or self as endowed with feeling,

na attani vā vedanaṁ, na vedanāya vā attānaṁ.
or feeling as in self, or self as in feeling.

Na saññaṁ attato samanupassati, na saññāvantaṁ vā attānaṁ,
Doesn’t view perception as self, or self as endowed with perception,

na attani vā saññaṁ, na saññāya vā attānaṁ.
or perception as in self, or self as in perception.

Na saṅkhāre attato samanupassati, na saṅkhāravantaṁ vā attānaṁ,
Doesn’t view (volitional) processes as self, or self as endowed with (volitional) processes,

na attani vā saṅkhāre, na saṅkhāresu vā attānaṁ.
or (volitional) processes as in self, or self as in (volitional) processes.

Na viññāṇaṁ attato samanupassati, na viññāṇavantaṁ vā attānaṁ,
Doesn’t view consciousness as self, or self as endowed with consciousness,

na attani vā viññāṇaṁ, na viññāṇasmiṁ vā attānaṁ.
or consciousness as in self, or self as in consciousness.

Evaṁ kho, āvuso Visākha, sakkāyadiṭṭhi na hotī.” ti
Thus, friend Visākha, there is no embodiment view.”

 

Q8. Eightfold Noble Path

“Katamo pan’ Ayye, Ariyo Aṭṭhaṅgiko Maggo?” ti
“But what, Noble Lady, is the Eightfold Noble Path?”

“Ayam-eva kho, āvuso Visākha, ariyo aṭṭhaṅgiko maggo, seyyathīdaṁ:
“It is this noble path with eight factors, friend Visākha, as follows:

sammādiṭṭhi, sammāsaṅkappo,
right view, right thought,

sammāvācā, sammākammanto,
right speech, right action,

sammā-ājīvo, sammāvāyāmo,
right livelihood, right endeavour,

sammāsati, sammāsamādhī.” ti
right mindfulness, right concentration.”

 

Q9. Path Conditioned

“Ariyo pan’ Ayye, Aṭṭhaṅgiko Maggo saṅkhato udāhu asaṅkhato?” ti
“But is the eightfold Noble Path, Noble Lady, conditioned or unconditioned?”

“Ariyo kho, āvuso Visākha, Aṭṭhaṅgiko Maggo saṅkhato.” ti
“The eightfold Noble Path, friend Visākha, is conditioned.”

 

Q10. Constituents of the Path

“Ariyena nu kho, Ayye, Aṭṭhaṅgikena Maggena tayo khandhā saṅgahitā, BJT, PTS: saṅgahītā; similarly throughout.65
“Are the three constituents The constituents referred to here are what is elsewhere called the three trainings (tisso sikkhā).66 comprised within the eightfold Noble Path, Noble Lady,

udāhu tīhi khandhehi ariyo Aṭṭhaṅgiko Maggo saṅgahito?” ti
or is the eightfold Noble Path comprised within the three constituents?”

“Na kho, āvuso Visākha, ariyena aṭṭhaṅgikena maggena tayo khandhā saṅgahitā,
“The three constituents are not comprised within the eightfold Noble Path, friend Visākha,

tīhi ca kho, āvuso Visākha, khandhehi ariyo aṭṭhaṅgiko maggo saṅgahito.
but the eightfold Noble Path is comprised within the three constituents.

Yā cāvuso Visākha, sammāvācā yo ca sammākammanto, yo ca sammā-ājīvo,
Whatever is right speech, friend Visākha, and whatever is right action, and whatever is right livelihood,

ime dhammā sīlakkhandhe RTE: sīlakkhandhena ... samādhikkhandhena ... paññākkhandena.67 saṅgahitā.
these things are comprised within the virtue constituent.

Yo ca sammāvāyāmo yā ca sammāsati, yo ca sammāsamādhi,
Whatever is right endeavour, and whatever is right mindfulness, and whatever is right concentration,

ime dhammā samādhikkhandhe saṅgahitā.
these things are comprised within the concentration constituent.

Yā ca sammādiṭṭhi yo ca sammāsaṅkappo,
Whatever is right view, and whatever is right thought,

ime dhammā paññākkhandhe saṅgahitā.” ti
these things are comprised within the wisdom constituent.

 

Q11. Concentration

“Katamo pan’ Ayye, samādhi, katame RTE, ChS add: dhammā.68 samādhinimittā,
“But what, Noble Lady, is concentration, Referring to the eighth factor in the Noble Eightfold Path. 69 what are the causes of concentration,

katame RTE, ChS add: dhammā.70 samādhiparikkhārā, katamā samādhibhāvanā?” ti
what are the accessories to concentration, what is the development of concentration?”

“Yā kho, āvuso Visākha, cittassa ekaggatā RTE: cittassekaggatā.71 ayaṁ samādhi,
“Whatever is one-pointedness of mind, friend Visākha, that is concentration,

cattāro satipaṭṭhānā samādhinimittā,
the four ways of attending to mindfulness are the causes of concentration,

cattāro sammappadhānā samādhiparikkhārā,
the four right endeavours are the accessories to concentration,

yā tesaṁ yeva dhammānaṁ āsevanā, bhāvanā bahulīkammaṁ,
whatever repetition of these things there is, their development, being made much of,

ayaṁ tattha P ChS: ettha.72 samādhibhāvanā.” ti
this is the development of concentration herein.”

 

Q12. Processes

“Kati pan’ Ayye, saṅkhārā?” ti
“But what, Noble Lady, are the processes?”

“Tayome, āvuso Visākha, saṅkhārā:
“There are these three processes, friend Visākha:

kāyasaṅkhāro, vacīsaṅkhāro, cittasaṅkhāro.” ti
the bodily process, the speech process, the mental process.” These appear in the next set of questions when discussing which of them cease first during cessation. 73

 

Q13. Processes Definitions

“Katamo pan’ Ayye, kāyasaṅkhāro,
“But what, Noble Lady, is bodily process,

katamo vacīsaṅkhāro, katamo cittasaṅkhāro?” ti
what is speech process, what is mental process?”

“Assāsapassāsā kho, āvuso Visākha, kāyasaṅkhāro,
“In-breathing and out-breathing, friend Visākha, is bodily process,

vitakkavicārā vacīsaṅkhāro,
thinking and reflection is speech process,

saññā ca vedanā ca cittasaṅkhāro.” ti
perception and feeling is mental process.”

 

Q14. Explanation of Definitions

“Kasmā pan’ Ayye, assāsapassāsā kāyasaṅkhāro,
“But why is in-breathing and out-breathing, Noble Lady, bodily process,

kasmā vitakkavicārā vacīsaṅkhāro,
why is thinking and reflection speech process,

kasmā saññā ca vedanā ca cittasaṅkhāro?” ti
why is perception and feeling mental process?”

“Assāsapassāsā kho, āvuso Visākha, kāyikā, ete dhammā kāyapaṭibaddhā, ChS: kāyapp-.74
“In-breathing and out-breathing, friend Visākha, are bodily, these things are bound up with the body,

tasmā assāsapassāsā kāyasaṅkhāro.
therefore in-breathing and out-breathing is a bodily process.

Pubbe kho, āvuso Visākha, vitakketvā vicāretvā pacchā RTE omits: pacchā.75 vācaṁ bhindati,
Having thought and reflected beforehand, friend Visākha, he afterwards breaks forth with a word,

tasmā vitakkavicārā vacīsaṅkhāro.
therefore thinking and reflection is a speech process.

Saññā ca vedanā ca cetasikā, ete dhammā cittapaṭibaddhā, ChS: cittapp-.76
Perception and feeling are mental factors, these things are bound up with the mind,

tasmā saññā ca vedanā ca cittasaṅkhāro.” ti
therefore perception and feeling are mental processes.”

 

Q15. The Attainment of Cessation

“Kathaṁ BJT adds: ca.77 pan’ Ayye, saññāvedayitanirodhasamāpatti hotī?” ti
“But how, Noble Lady, is the cessation of perception and feeling attained?”

“Na kho, āvuso Visākha, saññāvedayitanirodhaṁ,
° “A monastic who is attaining the cessation of perception and feeling, friend Visākha,

samāpajjantassa bhikkhuno evaṁ hoti:
does not think:

‘Ahaṁ saññāvedayitanirodhaṁ samāpajjissan,’-ti vā,
‘I will attain the cessation of perception and feeling,’

‘Ahaṁ saññāvedayitanirodhaṁ samāpajjāmī,’ ti vā,
or ‘I am attaining the cessation of perception and feeling,’

‘Ahaṁ saññāvedayitanirodhaṁ samāpanno,’ ti vā.
or ‘I have attained the cessation of perception and feeling.’

Atha khvāssa pubbe va tathā cittaṁ bhāvitaṁ hoti yaṁ taṁ tathattāya upanetī.” ti
But previously his mind has been developed so that it leads to that state.” This seems rather an odd answer, as it doesn’t really answer the question. 78

 

Q16. Processes that Cease First during Cessation

“Saññāvedayitanirodhaṁ samāpajjantassa, pan’ Ayye, bhikkhuno,
“But for a monastic who has attained the cessation of perception and feeling, Noble Lady,

katame dhammā paṭhamaṁ nirujjhanti:
which things cease first:

yadi vā kāyasaṅkhāro, yadi vā vacīsaṅkhāro, yadi vā cittasaṅkhāro?” ti
bodily process, or speech process, or mental process?”

“Saññāvedayitanirodhaṁ samāpajjantassa kho, āvuso Visākha, bhikkhuno,
“For a monastic who is attaining the cessation of perception and feeling, friend Visākha,

paṭhamaṁ nirujjhati vacīsaṅkhāro, tato kāyasaṅkhāro, tato cittasaṅkhāro.” ti
first speech process ceases, then bodily process ceases, then mental process ceases.” Speech processes (thinking and reflection) cease when entering second absorption (jhāna); bodily processes (in-breathing and out-breathing) cease in fourth absorption; mental processes (perception and feeling) cease when entering cessation of perception and feeling. They arise again in reverse order when emerging from the attainment. See just below.79

 

Q17. The Emergence from Cessation

“Kathaṁ pan’ Ayye, saññāvedayitanirodhasamāpattiyā vuṭṭhānaṁ hotī?” ti
“But what, Noble Lady, is the emergence from the cessation of perception and feeling?”

“Na kho, āvuso Visākha, saññāvedayitanirodhasamāpattiyā
° “A monastic who is emerging from the cessation of perception and feeling, friend Visākha,

vuṭṭhahantassa bhikkhuno evaṁ hoti:
does not think:

‘Ahaṁ saññāvedayitanirodhasamāpattiyā vuṭṭhahissan,’-ti vā,
‘I will emerge from the cessation of perception and feeling,’

‘Ahaṁ saññāvedayitanirodhasamāpattiyā vuṭṭhahāmī,’ ti vā,
or, ‘I am emerging from the cessation of perception and feeling,’

‘Ahaṁ saññāvedayitanirodhasamāpattiyā vuṭṭhito,’ ti vā.
or, ‘I have emerged from the cessation of perception and feeling,’

Atha khvāssa pubbe va tathā cittaṁ bhāvitaṁ hoti yaṁ taṁ tathattāya upanetī.” ti
But previously his mind has been developed so that it leads to that state.”

 

Q18. Processes that Arise First during Emergence

“Saññāvedayitanirodhasamāpattiyā vuṭṭhahantassa pan’ Ayye, bhikkhuno
“But for a monastic who has emerged from the cessation of perception and feeling, Noble Lady,

katame dhammā paṭhamaṁ uppajjanti:
which things arise first:

yadi vā kāyasaṅkhāro, yadi vā vacīsaṅkhāro, yadi vā cittasaṅkhāro?” ti
bodily process, or speech process, or mental process?”

“Saññāvedayitanirodhasamāpattiyā vuṭṭhahantassa kho, āvuso Visākha, bhikkhuno
“For a monastic who is emerging from the cessation of perception and feeling, friend Visākha,

paṭhamaṁ uppajjati cittasaṅkhāro, tato kāyasaṅkhāro, tato vacīsaṅkhāro.” ti
first mental process arises, then bodily process arises, then speech process arises.”

 

Q19. Contacts after Emergence

“Saññāvedayitanirodhasamāpattiyā vuṭṭhitaṁ pan’ Ayye,
“Having emerged from the cessation of perception and feeling, Noble Lady,

bhikkhuṁ kati phassā phusantī?” ti
how many contacts touch that monastic?”

“Saññāvedayitanirodhasamāpattiyā vuṭṭhitaṁ kho, āvuso Visākha,
“Having emerged from the cessation of perception and feeling, friend Visākha,

bhikkhuṁ tayo phassā phusanti:
three contacts touch that monastic:

suññato phasso, animitto phasso, appaṇihito phasso.” ti
emptiness contact, desirelessness contact, signlessness contact.” These are the three freedoms (vimokkha), and are known as the gateways to freedom (vimokkhamukha).80

 

Q20. Inclination after Emergence

“Saññāvedayitanirodhasamāpattiyā vuṭṭhitassa pan’ Ayye, bhikkhuno
“For a monastic who has emerged from the cessation of perception and feeling, Noble Lady,

kiṁ-ninnaṁ cittaṁ, hoti kiṁ-poṇaṁ, kiṁ-pabbhāran?”-ti
what does his mind incline towards, what does it slope towards, what does it slant towards?”

“Saññāvedayitanirodhasamāpattiyā vuṭṭhitassa kho, āvuso Visākha, bhikkhuno
“For a monastic who has emerged from the cessation of perception and feeling, friend Visākha,

vivekaninnaṁ cittaṁ hoti, vivekapoṇaṁ vivekapabbhāran.”-ti
his mind inclines towards seclusion, Comm: Vivekaninnan-ti-ādīsu, Nibbānaṁ viveko nāma, his mind inclines towards seclusion and so on, here seclusion means Nibbāna. 81 it slopes towards seclusion, it slants towards seclusion.”

 

Q21. Number of Feelings

“Kati pan’ Ayye, vedanā?” ti
“But how many feelings are there, Noble Lady?”

“Tisso kho imā, āvuso Visākha, vedanā:
“There are three feelings, friend Visākha:

sukhā vedanā, dukkhā vedanā, adukkham-asukhā vedanā.” ti
pleasant feeling, unpleasant feeling, and neither-unpleasant-nor-pleasant feeling.”

 

Q22. Types of Feelings

“Katamā pan’ Ayye, sukhā vedanā, katamā dukkhā vedanā,
“But what, Noble Lady, is pleasant feeling, what is unpleasant feeling,

katamā adukkham-asukhā vedanā?” ti
what is neither-unpleasant-nor-pleasant feeling?”

“Yaṁ kho, āvuso Visākha, kāyikaṁ vā cetasikaṁ vā sukhaṁ sātaṁ vedayitaṁ:
“Whatever, friend Visākha, is bodily or mentally pleasant and agreeable feeling:

ayaṁ sukhā vedanā.
that is pleasant feeling.

Yaṁ kho, āvuso Visākha, kāyikaṁ vā cetasikaṁ vā dukkhaṁ asātaṁ vedayitaṁ:
Whatever, friend Visākha, is bodily or mentally unpleasant and disagreeable feeling:

ayaṁ dukkhā vedanā.
that is unpleasant feeling.

Yaṁ kho, āvuso Visākha, kāyikaṁ vā cetasikaṁ vā neva sātaṁ nāsātaṁ vedayitaṁ:
Whatever, friend Visākha, is bodily or mentally neither agreeable nor disagreeable feeling:

ayaṁ adukkham-asukhā vedanā.” ti
that is neither-unpleasant-nor-pleasant feeling.”

 

Q22. Definition of Feelings

“Sukhā pan’ Ayye, vedanā kiṁ-sukhā, kiṁ-dukkhā, RTE reads: dukkhā ti, and omits the next two lines, presumably by mistake.82
“But regarding pleasant feeling, Noble Lady: what is pleasant, what is unpleasant,

dukkhā vedanā, kiṁ-sukhā, kiṁ-dukkhā, PTS: kiṁ-dukkhā, kiṁ-sukhā; different order. 83
regarding unpleasant feeling: what is pleasant, what is unpleasant,

adukkham-asukhā vedanā, kiṁ-sukhā, kiṁ-dukkhā?” ti
regarding neither-unpleasant-nor-pleasant feeling: what is pleasant, what is unpleasant?”

“Sukhā kho, āvuso Visākha, vedanā ṭhitisukhā vipariṇāmadukkhā,
“Pleasant feeling, friend Visākha, is pleasant when it persists, unpleasant when it changes, This is a subtle point that people often can’t understand, how is the pleasant unpleasant? The following answer shows how the unpleasant can also be pleasant. 84

dukkhā vedanā ṭhitidukkhā vipariṇāmasukhā,
unpleasant feeling is unpleasant when it persists, pleasant when it changes,

adukkham-asukhā vedanā ñāṇasukhā RTE: saññāṇasukhā?85 aññāṇadukkhā.” ti
neither-unpleasant-nor-pleasant feeling is pleasant when known, and unpleasant when unknown.”

 

Q23. Tendencies underlying Feelings

“Sukhāya pan’ Ayye, vedanāya kiṁ anusayo anuseti,
“But for pleasant feeling, Noble Lady, what tendency underlies it,

dukkhāya vedanāya kiṁ anusayo anuseti,
for unpleasant feeling what tendency underlies it,

adukkham-asukhāya vedanāya kiṁ anusayo anusetī?” ti
for neither-unpleasant-nor-pleasant feeling what tendency underlies it?”

“Sukhāya kho, āvuso Visākha, vedanāya rāgānusayo anuseti,
“For pleasant feeling, friend Visākha, the tendency to passion underlies it,

dukkhāya vedanāya paṭighānusayo anuseti,
for unpleasant feeling the tendency to repulsion underlies it,

adukkham-asukhāya vedanāya avijjānusayo anusetī.” ti
for neither-unpleasant-nor-pleasant feeling ignorance underlies it.”

 

Q24. Range of Tendencies

“Sabbāya nu kho, Ayye, sukhāya vedanāya rāgānusayo anuseti,
“But for all pleasant feeling, Noble Lady, does the tendency to passion underlie it,

sabbāya dukkhāya vedanāya paṭighānusayo anuseti,
for all unpleasant feeling does the tendency to repulsion underlie it,

sabbāya adukkham-asukhāya vedanāya avijjānusayo anusetī?” ti
for all neither-unpleasant-nor-pleasant feeling does the tendency to ignorance underlie it?”

“Na kho, āvuso Visākha, sabbāya sukhāya vedanāya rāgānusayo anuseti,
“Not for all pleasant feeling, friend Visākha, does the tendency to passion underlie it,

na sabbāya dukkhāya vedanāya paṭighānusayo anuseti,
not for all unpleasant feeling does the tendency to repulsion underlie it,

na sabbāya adukkham-asukhāya vedanāya avijjānusayo anusetī.” ti
not for all neither-unpleasant-nor-pleasant feeling does the tendency to ignorance underlie it.”

 

Q25. Abandonment of Tendencies

“Sukhāya, pan’ Ayye, vedanāya kiṁ pahātabbaṁ,
“But for all pleasant feeling, Noble Lady, what should be abandoned,

dukkhāya vedanāya kiṁ pahātabbaṁ,
for all unpleasant feeling what should be abandoned,

adukkham-asukhāya vedanāya kiṁ pahātabban?”-ti
for all neither-unpleasant-nor-pleasant feeling what should be abandoned?”

“Sukhāya kho, āvuso Visākha, vedanāya rāgānusayo pahātabbo,
“For pleasant feeling, friend Visākha, the tendency to passion should be abandoned,

dukkhāya vedanāya paṭighānusayo pahātabbo,
for unpleasant feeling the tendency to repulsion should be abandoned,

adukkham-asukhāya vedanāya avijjānusayo pahātabbo.” ti
for neither-unpleasant-nor-pleasant feeling the tendency to ignorance should be abandoned.”

 

Q26. Necessity of Abandonment

“Sabbāya nu kho, Ayye, sukhāya vedanāya rāgānusayo pahātabbo,
“But for all pleasant feeling, Noble Lady, (is there) a tendency to passion that should be abandoned,

sabbāya dukkhāya vedanāya paṭighānusayo pahātabbo,
for all unpleasant feeling (is there) a tendency to repulsion that should be abandoned,

sabbāya adukkham-asukhāya vedanāya avijjānusayo pahātabbo?” ti
for all neither-unpleasant-nor-pleasant feeling (is there) a tendency to ignorance that should be abandoned?”

“Na kho, āvuso Visākha, sabbāya sukhāya vedanāya rāgānusayo pahātabbo,
“Not for all pleasant feeling, friend Visākha, (is there) a tendency to passion that should be abandoned,

na sabbāya dukkhāya vedanāya paṭighānusayo pahātabbo,
not for all unpleasant feeling (is there) a tendency to repulsion that should be abandoned,

na sabbāya adukkham-asukhāya vedanāya avijjānusayo pahātabbo.
not for all neither-unpleasant-nor-pleasant feeling (is there) a tendency to ignorance that should be abandoned. These answers are very unexpected, as indeed all the anusaya do have to be abandoned, and what is more Dhammadinnā explains how they are abandoned in the next part of her answer. Is there a textual corruption here?86

Idhāvuso Visākha, bhikkhu, vivicceva kāmehi vivicca akusalehi dhammehi,
Here, friend Visākha, a monastic, quite secluded from sense desires, secluded from unwholesome things,

savitakkaṁ savicāraṁ, vivekajaṁ pītisukhaṁ,
having thinking, reflection, and the happiness and rapture born of seclusion,

paṭhamaṁ jhānaṁ upasampajja viharati.
dwells having attained the first absorption.

Rāgaṁ tena pajahati, na tattha rāgānusayo anuseti.
On that basis passion is abandoned, and herein there is no more underlying tendency to passion.

Idhāvuso Visākha, bhikkhu iti paṭisañcikkhati:
Here, friend Visākha, a monastic considers thus:

‘Kudāssu PTS: Kuda-ssu.87 nāmāhaṁ tad-āyatanaṁ upasampajja viharissāmi
‘When will I dwell having attained that sphere

yad-Ariyā etarahi āyatanaṁ upasampajja viharantī?’ ti
that the Noble Ones now dwell in having attained that sphere?’

Iti anuttaresu vimokkhesu pihaṁ upaṭṭhāpayato uppajjati
Thus a longing to give attendance towards that unsurpassed freedom arises

pihāpaccayā BJT, ChS: -ppaccayā; RTE: pihapaccayā.88 domanassaṁ.
and with longing as condition sorrow (arises).

Paṭighaṁ tena pajahati, na tattha paṭighānusayo anuseti.
On that basis repulsion is abandoned, and herein there is no more underlying tendency to repulsion.

Idhāvuso Visākha, bhikkhu sukhassa ca pahānā, dukkhassa ca pahānā,
Here, friend Visākha, a monastic, having given up pleasure, given up pain, We might have expected ellipsis markers to indicate the second and third absorptions, but they are absent, and we go from the first absorption straight to the fourth.89.

pubbe va somanassadomanassānaṁ atthaṅgamā, BJT, PTS: atthagamā.90
and with the previous disappearence of mental well-being and sorrow,

adukkham-asukhaṁ upekkhāsatipārisuddhiṁ, PTS: upekhā-.91
without pain, without pleasure, and with complete purity of mindfulness owing to equanimity,

catutthaṁ jhānaṁ upasampajja viharati.
dwells having attained the fourth absorption.

Avijjaṁ tena pajahati, na tattha avijjānusayo anusetī.” ti
On that basis ignorance is abandoned, and herein there is no more underlying tendency to ignorance.”

 

Q27. Complement of Unpleasant Feeling

“Sukhāya pan’ Ayye, vedanāya kiṁ paṭibhāgo?” ti
“But for pleasant feeling, Noble Lady, what is the complement?”

“Sukhāya kho, āvuso Visākha, vedanāya dukkhā vedanā RTE, in place of dukkhā vedanā here, has rāgo, giving a meaning to the sentence: For pleasant feeling, friend Visākha, the complement his again is rather odd, as w is passion. See below for similar variants.92 paṭibhāgo.” ti
“For pleasant feeling, friend Visākha, the complement is unpleasant feeling.”

 

Q28. Complement of Pleasant Feeling

“Dukkhāya pan’ Ayye, vedanāya kiṁ paṭibhāgo?” ti
“But for unpleasant feeling, Noble Lady, what is the complement?”

“Dukkhāya kho, āvuso Visākha, vedanāya sukhā vedanā RTE, in place of sukhā vedanā here, has paṭigho, giving a meaning to the sentence: For unpleasant feeling, friend Visākha, the complement is repulsion.93 paṭibhāgo.” ti
“For unpleasant feeling, friend Visākha, the complement is pleasant feeling.”

 

Q29. Complement of Neither-Unpleasant-nor-Pleasant Feeling

“Adukkham-asukhāya pan’ Ayye, vedanāya kiṁ paṭibhāgo?” ti
“But for neither-unpleasant-nor-pleasant feeling, Noble Lady, what is the complement?”

“Adukkham-asukhāya kho, āvuso Visākha, vedanāya avijjā paṭibhāgo.” ti
“For neither-unpleasant-nor-pleasant feeling, friend Visākha, the complement is ignorance.”

 

Q30. Complement of Ignorance

“Avijjāya pan’ Ayye, kiṁ paṭibhāgo?” ti
“But for ignorance, Noble Lady, what is the complement?”

“Avijjāya kho, āvuso Visākha, vijjā paṭibhāgo.” ti
“For ignorance, friend Visākha, the complement is understanding.”

 

Q31. Complement of Understanding

“Vijjāya pan’ Ayye, kiṁ paṭibhāgo?” ti
“But for understanding, Noble Lady, what is the complement?”

“Vijjāya kho, āvuso Visākha, vimutti paṭibhāgo.” ti
“For understanding, friend Visākha, the complement is freedom.”

 

Q32. Complement of Freedom

“Vimuttiyā pan’ Ayye, kiṁ paṭibhāgo?” ti
“But for freedom, Noble Lady, what is the complement?”

“Vimuttiyā kho, āvuso Visākha, Nibbānaṁ paṭibhāgo.” ti
“For freedom, friend Visākha, the complement is Nibbāna.”

 

Q33. Complement of Nibbāna

“Nibbānassa pan’ Ayye, kiṁ paṭibhāgo?” ti
“But for Nibbāna, Noble Lady, what is the complement?”

“Accasarāvuso ChS: accayāsi āvuso.94 Visākha, pañhaṁ nāsakkhi pañhānaṁ pariyantaṁ gahetuṁ,
“You are not able to grasp, friend Visākha, answers to questions that are beyond your limits,

Nibbānogadhaṁ hi, āvuso Visākha,
like immersion in Nibbāna, friend Visākha,

brahmacariyaṁ nibbānaparāyanaṁ nibbānapariyosānaṁ.
the spiritual life that ends in Nibbāna, that conclusion in Nibbāna.

Ākaṅkhamāno ca tvaṁ, āvuso Visākha,
Desiring this, This again is rather odd, as we might have expected the complement of the unconditioned Nibbāna to be conditioned states. Instead, first she says it is beyond his ability to understand, and then sends him to the Buddha if he wants to ask about this. The Buddha, however, has no further instruction for him, and simply confirms Ven Dhammadinnā’s teaching. 95 friend Visākha,

Bhagavantaṁ upasaṅkamitvā etam-atthaṁ puccheyyāsi,
approach the Gracious One and you can ask him about this matter,

yathā ca te Bhagavā byākaroti tathā naṁ dhāreyyāsī.” ti
and just as the Gracious One explains, so you should bear it in mind.”

Interview with the Gracious One

Atha kho Visākho upāsako,
Then the devotee Visākha,

Dhammadinnāya bhikkhuniyā bhāsitaṁ abhinanditvā anumoditvā,
after greatly rejoicing and gladly receiving this word of the nun Dhammadinnā,

uṭṭhāyāsanā Dhammadinnaṁ bhikkhuniṁ abhivādetvā padakkhiṇaṁ katvā,
having worshipped and circumambulated the nun Dhammadinnā,

yena Bhagavā tenupasaṅkami,
approached the Gracious One,

upasaṅkamitvā Bhagavantaṁ abhivādetvā, ekam-antaṁ nisīdi. and after approaching and worshipping the Gracious One, he sat down on one side.

Ekam-antaṁ nisinno kho Visākho upāsako yāvatako ahosi
While sitting on one side the devotee Visākha

Dhammadinnāya bhikkhuniyā saddhiṁ kathāsallāpo
° related the whole conversation he had had with the nun Dhammadinnā

taṁ sabbaṁ Bhagavato ārocesi.
to the Gracious One.

Evaṁ vutte, Bhagavā Visākhaṁ upāsakaṁ etad-avoca:
That being said, the Gracious One said this to the devotee Visākha:

“Paṇḍitā, Visākha, Dhammadinnā bhikkhunī,
“Wise, Visākha, is the nun Dhammadinnā,

mahāpaññā, Visākha, Dhammadinnā bhikkhunī,
having great wisdom, Visākha, is the nun Dhammadinnā,

mamaṁ ChS, RTE: maṁ.96 ce pi tvaṁ, Visākha, etam-atthaṁ puccheyyāsi,
if you were to ask me, Visākha, the same matter,

aham-pi taṁ evam-evaṁ ChS, RTE: evam-eva.97 byākareyyaṁ,
I would answer it in the same way,

yathā taṁ Dhammadinnāya bhikkhuniyā byākataṁ,
in the way the nun Dhammadinnā has answered,

eso cevetassa RTE: esovetassa.98 attho, evañ-ca naṁ BJT, RTE: evam-etaṁ.99 dhārehī.” ti
for this is indeed the meaning, and so should you bear it in mind.”

Idam-avoca Bhagavā,
The Gracious One said this,

attamano Visākho upāsako Bhagavato bhāsitaṁ abhinandī ti.
and the devotee Visākha was uplifted and greatly rejoiced in what was said by the Gracious One.

Cūḷavedallasuttaṁ Niṭṭhitaṁ BJT, PTS: Cūḷavedallasuttaṁ Catutthaṁ; RTE: Cūḷavedallasuttaṁ Niṭṭhitaṁ Catutthaṁ.100
The Small Discourse giving an Elaboration is Finished

 

The Commentarial Conclusion
(from AA 1.5.5)

Evam-etaṁ vatthu samuṭṭhitaṁ.
Thus did the story unfold.

Aparabhāge PTS adds: pana.101 Satthā Jetavane nisinno, RTE: viharanto.102
Later, as the Teacher was sitting in Jeta’s Wood,

paṭipāṭiyā bhikkhuniyo ṭhānantaresu ṭhapento,
as he was assigning the places of the nuns in order,

idam-eva Cūḷavedallaṁ, PTS: Culla-.103 aṭṭhuppattiṁ RTE: atthuppattiṁ.104 katvā,
regarding this Small Elaberation, as the occasion had arisen,

Theriṁ imasmiṁ Sāsane Dhammakathikānaṁ aggaṭṭhāne ṭhapesī ti.
he placed this Elder Nun in the foremost position in the Dispensation amongst those who talk about Dhamma.