Mahāparinibbānasuttaṁ
The Discourse about the Great Emancipation

[Paṭhamabhāṇavāraṁ]
[The First Chapter for Recitation]

[10: Sāriputtasīhanādo] cf. Nālandasuttaṁ (SN 47:12) and the beginning of Sampasādanīyasuttaṁ (DN 28). Rhys-Davids suggested that this passage may have been the one referred to in Asoka's Bhabra Edict, and known as Upatissapucchā (Upatissa was ven Sāriputta's given name, Sāriputta = Son of Sārī). If so, then the title means, not Upatissa's Questions (a kammadhāraya compound), but Questions to Upatissa (a tappurisa compound).01
[Sāriputta's Lion's Roar]

Atha kho Bhagavā Ambalaṭṭhikāyaṁ yathābhirantaṁ viharitvā,
Then the Gracious One, after living near Ambalaṭṭhikā for as long as he liked,

āyasmantaṁ Ānandaṁ āmantesi:
addressed venerable Ānanda, (saying):

“Āyām' Ānanda yena Nāḷandā tenupasaṅkamissāmā.” ti
“Come Ānanda let us approach Nāḷandā.” Nāḷandā was only a league away from Rājagaha (about 7 - 10 kilometres). At other times it was the setting for the Kevaṭṭasuttaṁ (DN 11) and Upālisuttaṁ (MN 56) amongst others. It became the seat of the largest Buddhist University in India.02

“Evaṁ Bhante,” ti kho āyasmā Ānando Bhagavato paccassosi.
“Very well, reverend Sir,” venerable Ānanda replied to the Gracious One.

Atha kho Bhagavā mahatā bhikkhusaṅghena saddhiṁ yena Nāḷandā tad-avasari.
Then the Gracious One together with a great Community of monks arrived at Nāḷandā.

Tatra sudaṁ Bhagavā Nāḷandāyaṁ viharati Pāvārikambavane.
There the Gracious One lived near Nāḷanda in Pāvārika's Mango Wood. This was a monastery built for the Buddha by Pāvārika, a rich merchant from Kosambī (see DPPN).03

 

Atha kho āyasmā Sāriputto yena Bhagavā tenupasaṅkami,
Then venerable Sāriputta 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 āyasmā Sāriputto Bhagavantaṁ etad-avoca:
While sitting on one side venerable Sāriputta said this to the Gracious One:

“Evaṁ pasanno ahaṁ Bhante Bhagavati:
“I have confidence, reverend Sir, in the Gracious One in this way:

na cāhu na ca bhavissati na cetarahi vijjati
that neither in the past, the future, or at present is there found

añño samaṇo vā brāhmaṇo vā
another ascetic or brahmin

Bhagavatā bhiyyobhiññataro yad-idaṁ Sambodhiyan.”-ti
who has more deep knowledge in regard to Perfect Awakening than the Gracious One.”

“Uḷārā kho te ayaṁ Sāriputta āsabhivācā bhāsitā,
“You have spoken this great and imposing speech, Sāriputta,

ekaṁso gahito sīhanādo nadito:
a definite, (well-)grasped, lion's roar that was roared, (saying):

‘Evaṁ pasanno ahaṁ Bhante Bhagavati:
‘I have confidence, reverend Sir, in the Gracious One in this way:

na cāhu na ca bhavissati na cetarahi vijjati
that neither in the past, the future, or at present is there found

añño samaṇo vā brāhmaṇo vā
another ascetic or brahmin

Bhagavatā bhiyyobhiññataro yad-idaṁ Sambodhiyan.’-ti
who has more deep knowledge in regard to Perfect Awakening than the Gracious One.’

Kiṁ te Sāriputta ye te ahesuṁ atītam-addhānaṁ Arahanto Sammāsambuddhā,
* But have you, Sāriputta, understood those who, in past times, were Worthy and Perfect Sambuddhas,

sabbe te Bhagavanto cetasā cetoparicca viditā?
and known with your mind the minds of those Gracious Ones?

Evaṁsīlā te Bhagavanto ahesuṁ iti pi,
(Or that) those Gracious Ones had such and such virtues,

evaṁdhammā te Bhagavanto ahesuṁ iti pi,
those Gracious Ones had such and such qualities,

evaṁpaññā te Bhagavanto ahesuṁ iti pi,
those Gracious Ones had such and such wisdom,

evaṁvihārī te Bhagavanto ahesuṁ iti pi,
those Gracious Ones had such and such lifestyles,

evaṁvimuttā te Bhagavanto ahesuṁ iti pī?” ti
those Gracious Ones had such and such liberations?”

“No hetaṁ Bhante.”
“No, reverend Sir.”

 

“Kim-pana te Sāriputta,
“But have you, Sāriputta,

ye te bhavissanti anāgatam-addhānaṁ Arahanto Sammāsambuddhā,
* understood those who, in the future times, will be Worthy and Perfect Sambuddhas,

sabbe te Bhagavanto cetasā cetoparicca viditā?
and known with your mind the minds of those Gracious Ones?

Evaṁsīlā te Bhagavanto bhavissanti iti pi,
(Or that) those Gracious Ones will have such and such virtues,

evaṁdhammā te Bhagavanto bhavissanti iti pi,
those Gracious Ones will have such and such qualities,

evaṁpaññā te Bhagavanto bhavissanti iti pi,
those Gracious Ones will have such and such wisdom,

evaṁvihārī te Bhagavanto bhavissanti iti pi,
those Gracious Ones will have such and such lifestyles,

evaṁvimuttā te Bhagavanto bhavissanti iti pī?” ti
those Gracious Ones will have such and such liberations?”

“No hetaṁ Bhante.” ti
“No, reverend Sir.”

 

“Kiṁ pana te Sāriputta ahaṁ etarahi Arahaṁ Sammāsambuddho,
* “But have you understood I, who am, at present, a Worthy and Perfect Sambuddha,

cetasā cetoparicca vidito?
and known with your mind (my) mind?

Evaṁsīlo Bhagavā iti pi,
(Or that) the Gracious One has such and such virtues,

evaṁdhammo Bhagavā iti pi,
the Gracious One has such and such qualities,

evaṁpañño Bhagavā iti pi,
the Gracious One has such and such wisdom,

evaṁvihārī Bhagavā iti pi,
the Gracious One has such and such a lifestyle,

evaṁvimutto Bhagavā iti pī?” ti
the Gracious One has such and such a liberation?”

“No hetaṁ Bhante.”
“No, reverend Sir.”

 

“Ettha hi te Sāriputta,
“Here then, Sāriputta,

atītānāgatapaccuppannesu Arahantesu Sammāsambuddhesu
in regard to those past, future, and present Worthy and Perfect Sambuddhas

cetopariyañāṇaṁ natthi.
you have no full and exact knowledge with (your own) mind.

Atha kiñ-cetarahi te ayaṁ Sāriputta
Then how is it, Sāriputta, at present that you

uḷārā āsabhivācā bhāsitā ekaṁso gahito sīhanādo nadito:
have spoken (such) a great and imposing speech, a definite, (well-)grasped, lion's roar that was roared, (saying):

‘Evaṁ pasanno ahaṁ Bhante Bhagavati:
‘I have confidence, reverend Sir, in the Gracious One in this way:

na cāhu na ca bhavissati na cetarahi vijjati
that neither in the past, the future, or at present is there found

añño samaṇo vā brāhmaṇo vā
another ascetic or brahmin

Bhagavatā bhiyyobhiññataro yad-idaṁ Sambodhiyan'?”-ti
who has more deep knowledge in regard to Perfect Awakening than the Gracious One'?”

 

“Na kho me Bhante atītānāgatapaccuppannesu Arahantesu Sammāsambuddhesu
“I do not, reverend Sir, in regard to those past, future, and present Worthy and Perfect Sambuddhas

cetopariyañāṇaṁ atthi.
have full and exact knowledge with (my own) mind.

Api ca me Dhammanvayo vidito.
However, I understand (what I said) is in conformity with the Teaching.

Seyyathā pi Bhante Rañño paccantimaṁ nagaraṁ,
It is like a King's city, reverend Sir, near the border areas,

daḷhuddāpaṁ daḷhapākāratoraṇaṁ ekadvāraṁ,
having strong foundations, strong walls and gateways, and a single door,

tatrassa dovāriko paṇḍito viyatto medhāvī,
and there is a watchman, wise, accomplished, and intelligent,

aññātānaṁ nivāretā ñātānaṁ pavesetā.
warding off those unknown, and letting through those well-known.

So tassa nagarassa samantā anupariyāyapathaṁ anukkamamāno
While going around the road on inspection through the whole of that city

na passeyya pākārasandhiṁ vā pākāravivaraṁ vā
he may not see (such) fissures in the wall or openings in the wall

antamaso biḷāranikkhamanamattam-pi, tassa evam-assa,
that even a cat could go out through, it may be so,

‘Ye kho keci oḷārikā pāṇā imaṁ nagaraṁ pavisanti vā nikkhamanti vā
(but he knows): ‘Whatever grosser beings enter or depart from this city

sabbe te iminā va dvārena pavisanti vā nikkhamanti vā.’ ti
all of them surely enter or depart through this door.’

 

Evam-eva kho me Bhante dhammanvayo vidito,
Similarly, reverend Sir, I understand it is in conformity with the Teaching,

ye te Bhante ahesuṁ atītam-addhānaṁ Arahanto Sammāsambuddhā,
that whoever, reverend Sir, in the past times, are Worthy Ones, Perfect Sambuddhas,

sabbe te Bhagavanto, pañca nīvaraṇe pahāya,
all those Gracious Ones, after giving up the five hindrances, The five hinderences (pañcanīvaraṇa) are sensuality (kāmacchanda), ill-will (byāpāda), sloth and torpor (thīnamiddha), worry (kukkucca), and doubt (vicikicchā).04

cetaso upakkilese paññāya dubbalīkaraṇe,
have penetrated with wisdom the corruptions of the mind that make one feeble,

catūsu satipaṭṭhānesu supatiṭṭhitacittā,
have established their minds in the four ways of attending to mindfulness, Attending to mindfulness of the body (kāyānupassanā), feelings (vedanānupassanā), mind (cittānupassanā), and (the nature of various) things (dhammānupassanā). See my text and translation of Mahāsatipaṭṭhānasuttaṁ elsewhere on this website.05

Sattabojjhaṅge yathābhūtaṁ bhāvetvā,
and after developing just as it is the Seven Factors of Awakening, The Seven Factors of Awakening (sattabhojjaṅgā) are mindfulness (sati), investigation of (the nature of) things (dhammavicaya), energy (viriya), joyful-interest (pīti), calmness (passaddhi), concentration (samādhi), and equanimity (upekkhā).06

anuttaraṁ Sammāsambodhiṁ abhisambujjhiṁsu.
have awakened to the unsurpassed and Perfect Awakening.

Ye pi te Bhante bhavissanti anāgatam-addhānaṁ Arahanto Sammāsambuddhā
That whoever, reverend Sir, in the future times, are Worthy Ones, Perfect Sambuddhas

sabbe te Bhagavanto, pañca nīvaraṇe pahāya,
all those Gracious Ones, after giving up the five hindrances,

cetaso upakkilese paññāya dubbalīkaraṇe,
and penetrating with wisdom the corruptions of the mind that make one feeble,

catūsu satipaṭṭhānesu supatiṭṭhitacittā,
and establishing their minds in the four ways of attending to mindfulness,

Sattabojjhaṅge yathābhūtaṁ bhāvetvā,
and developing just as it is the Seven Factors of Awakening,

anuttaraṁ Sammāsambodhiṁ abhisambujjhissanti.
will awaken to the unsurpassed and Perfect Awakening.

Bhagavā pi Bhante etarahi Arahaṁ Sammāsambuddho,
And the Gracious One, reverend Sir, in the present time, the Worthy One, the Perfect Sambuddha,

pañca nīvaraṇe pahāya,
(also) after giving up the five hindrances,

cetaso upakkilese paññāya dubbalīkaraṇe,
has penetrated with wisdom the corruptions of the mind that make one feeble,

catūsu satipaṭṭhānesu supatiṭṭhitacitto,
has established his mind in the four ways of attending to mindfulness,

Sattabojjhaṅge yathābhūtaṁ bhāvetvā,
and after developing just as it is the Seven Factors of Awakening,

anuttaraṁ Sammāsambodhiṁ abhisambuddho.” ti
has awoken to the unsurpassed and Perfect Awakening.”

* * *

Tatra pi sudaṁ Bhagavā Nāḷandāyaṁ viharanto Pāvārikambavane,
There also the Gracious One, while living near Nāḷandā in Pāvārika's Mango Wood,

etad-eva bahulaṁ bhikkhūnaṁ Dhammiṁ kathaṁ karoti:
spoke frequently to the monks about the Teaching, (saying):

“Iti sīlaṁ, iti samādhi, iti paññā,
“Such is virtue, such is concentration, such is wisdom,

sīlaparibhāvito samādhi mahapphalo hoti mahānisaṁso,
when virtue is well-developed it yields great fruit and brings great advantages in regard to concentration,

samādhiparibhāvitā paññā mahapphalā hoti mahānisaṁsā,
when concentration is well-developed it yields great fruit and brings great advantages in regard to wisdom,

paññāparibhāvitaṁ cittaṁ sammad-eva āsavehi vimuccati,
when wisdom is well-developed the mind is completely liberated from the pollutants,

seyyathīdaṁ: kāmāsavā bhavāsavā avijjāsavā.” ti
that is to say: the pollutant of sensuality, the pollutant of (craving for) continued existence, the pollutant of ignorance.”