Mahāparinibbānasuttaṁ
The Discourse about the Great Emancipation

[Dutiyabhāṇavāraṁ]
[The Second Chapter for Recitation]

[16: Bhagavato Ābādho] The Rains Retreat mentioned in this section started 10 months before the Parinibbāna according to the traditional reckoning.01
[The Gracious One's Sickness]

Atha kho Bhagavā Ambapālivane yathābhirantaṁ viharitvā,
Then the Gracious One, after living near Ambapālī's Wood for as long as he liked,

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

“Āyām' Ānanda yena Beluvagāmako tenupasaṅkamissāmā.” ti
“Come Ānanda let us approach the little village of Beluva.” According to the Commentary the village was just south of Vesālī. The village is named after the Beluva tree (Aegle Marmelos).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
Then the Gracious One together with a great Community of monks

yena Beluvagāmako tad-avasari.
arrived at the little village of Beluva.

Tatra sudaṁ Bhagavā Beluvagāmake viharati.
There the Gracious One lived near the little village of Beluva.

Tatra kho Bhagavā bhikkhū āmantesi:
There the Gracious One addressed the monks, (saying):

“Etha tumhe bhikkhave samantā Vesāliṁ
* “Go, monks, and undertake the Rains Retreat in the vicinity of Vesālī

yathāmittaṁ yathāsandiṭṭhaṁ yathāsambhattaṁ Vassaṁ upetha,
(living) like friends, like companions, like comrades,

ahaṁ pana idheva Beluvagāmake Vassaṁ upagacchāmī.” ti
and I will spend the Rains Retreat right here at the little village of Beluva.”

“Evaṁ Bhante,” ti kho te bhikkhū
“Very well, reverend Sir,” and those monks,

Bhagavato paṭissutvā, samantā Vesāliṁ
* after replying to the Gracious One, undertook the Rains Retreat in the vicinity of Vesālī

yathāmittaṁ yathāsandiṭṭhaṁ yathāsambhattaṁ Vassaṁ upagacchiṁsu.
(living) like friends, like companions, like comrades.

Bhagavā pana tattheva Beluvagāmake Vassaṁ upagacchi.
But the Gracious One spent the Rains Retreat right there at the little village of Beluva.

Atha kho Bhagavato Vassūpagatassa kharo ābādho uppajji,
Then while dwelling for the Rains Retreat, a heavy affliction arose for the Gracious One,

bāḷhā vedanā vattanti maraṇantikā.
and continued with strong and death-like feelings.

Tā sudaṁ Bhagavā sato sampajāno adhivāsesi avihaññamāno.
There the Gracious One dwelt mindfully, with full awareness, and without being troubled.

Atha kho Bhagavato etad-ahosi:
Then this occurred to the Gracious One:

“Na kho me taṁ paṭirūpaṁ yohaṁ anāmantetvā upaṭṭhāke,
“It is not suitable that I, without having addressed my attendants,

anapaloketvā Bhikkhusaṅghaṁ parinibbāyeyyaṁ.
without having given notice to the Community of monks, should attain Final Emancipation.

Yannūnāhaṁ imaṁ ābādhaṁ viriyena paṭippaṇāmetvā,
Having energetically dismissed this affliction,

jīvitasaṅkhāraṁ adhiṭṭhāya vihareyyan.”-ti
I could live on after determining the lifespan.”

Atha kho Bhagavā taṁ ābādhaṁ viriyena paṭippaṇāmetvā,
Then the Gracious One having energetically dismissed that affliction, Comm: samāpattivikkhambhitā vedanā dasamāse na uppajji yeva; the feelings suppressed by the attainment did not arise again for a further 10 months. From the beginning of the Rains Retreat in July until just before his Final Emancipation in May the following year is 10 months, so we can infer that the Commentary believes the illness occurred at the beginning of the retreat.03

jīvitasaṅkhāraṁ adhiṭṭhāya vihāsi.
lived on after determining the lifespan. Comm: ettha jīvitam-pi jīvitasaṅkhāro ... phalasamāpattidhammo pi jīvitasaṅkhāro, so idha adhippeto; here the lifespan means life ... the lifespan (can) also mean the attainment of fruition, this is the designation here. This seems contradictory, and I know of no other place where jīvitasaṅkhāra is defined as fruition attainment. The latter is probably meant to guard against the idea that the Buddha had determined the length of life, before the temptation by Māra, which comes later in the story, where he gives up the life-process (ayusaṅkhāra).04

 

Atha kho Bhagavato so ābādho paṭippassambhi.
Then the Gracious One's affliction abated.

Atha kho Bhagavā gilānā vuṭṭhito,
Then, the Gracious One, having risen from that sickness,

aciravuṭṭhito Gelaññā Vihārā nikkhamma
not long after rising, departed from the Sick Room

Vihārapacchāyāyaṁ paññatte āsane nisīdi.
and sat down on the prepared seat in front of that Room.

 

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

“Diṭṭho me Bhante Bhagavato phāsu,
“I have seen, reverend Sir, the Gracious One comfortable,

diṭṭhaṁ me Bhante Bhagavato khamanīyaṁ,
I have seen, reverend Sir, the Gracious One bearing up (while sick), I am not sure about the translation here, it maybe that we should parse Bhagavato 'phāsu (= aphāsu), and translate: I have seen ... the Gracious One uncomfortable ... (and) bearing up (while sick). Neither the Commentary nor the Sub-commentary help here.05

api ca me Bhante madhurakajāto viya kāyo,
and my body, reverend Sir, became faint as it were,

disā pi me na pakkhāyanti, dhammā pi maṁ na paṭibhanti,
and although I could not see (straight), and things were not clear, Comm: satipaṭṭhānādidhammā mayhaṁ pākaṭā na hontī ti dīpeti. Tantidhammā pana Therassa supagunā; he explains: (such) things as the ways of attending to mindfulness were not well-known to me. But the texts were still familiar to the Elder. This comment seems to guard against any doubt as to Ven. Ānanda's ability to remember the texts, which might put their reliability into question.06

Bhagavato gelaññena api ca me Bhante ahosi,
it appeared to me, reverend Sir, that the Gracious One was sick,

kācid-eva assāsamattā na tāva Bhagavā parinibbāyissati
(but) it was some small comfort that the Gracious One would not attain Final Emancipation

na yāva Bhagavā Bhikkhusaṅghaṁ ārabbha kiñcid-eva udāharatī.” ti
until the Gracious One had spoken regarding the Community of monks.”

“Kiṁ pan' Ānanda bhikkhusaṅgho mayi paccāsiṁsati?
“But what, Ānanda, does the Community of monks expect of me?

Desito Ānanda mayā Dhammo anantaraṁ abāhiraṁ karitvā,
The Teaching has been taught by me, Ānanda, without having made (a distinction between) esoteric and exoteric,

natth' Ānanda Tathāgatassa Dhammesu ācariyamuṭṭhi.
for the Realised One there is nothing, Ānanda, of a (closed) teacher's fist in regard to the Teaching.

Yassa nūna Ānanda evam-assa: ‘Ahaṁ Bhikkhusaṅghaṁ pariharissāmī’ ti vā
To whoever, Ānanda, this (thought) occurs: ‘I will lead the Community of monks’

‘mamuddesiko Bhikkhusaṅgho’ ti vā
or ‘I am the instructer of the Community of monks’

so nūna Ānanda Bhikkhusaṅghaṁ ārabbha kiñcid-eva udāhareyya.
let him speak, Ānanda, regarding the Community of monks.

Tathāgatassa kho Ānanda na evaṁ hoti:
But to the Realised One, Ānanda, this (thought) does not occur:

‘Ahaṁ kho Bhikkhusaṅghaṁ pariharissāmī’ ti vā
‘I will lead the Community of monks’

‘mamuddesiko Bhikkhusaṅgho’ ti vā.
or ‘I am the instructor of the Community of monks’.

Sa kiṁ Ānanda Tathāgato Bhikkhusaṅghaṁ ārabbha kiñcid-eva udāharissati?
Then why, Ānanda, should the Realised One speak regarding the Community of monks? I cannot understand this section which seems so out of keeping with the discourses elsewhere. The Buddha was the recognised leader of the Community, and in the previous section, has himself said: It is not suitable that I, without having addressed my attendants, without having given notice to the Community of monks, should attain Final Emancipation, and yet here he is denying that he is their leader and declaring he has nothing to say to them!07

 

Ahaṁ kho pan' Ānanda etarahi jiṇṇo vuḍḍho mahallako,
I, Ānanda, at present, am old, elderly, of great age,

addhagato vayo-anuppatto asītiko me vayo vattati.
far gone, advanced in years, I am eighty years old.

Seyyathā pi Ānanda jarasakaṭaṁ veḷumissakena BJT: jajjarasakaṭaṁ vekkhamissakena; ChS: jajjarasakaṭaṁ veṭhamissakena; PTS: vegha-missakena, and similarly below. As can be seen there is a lot of confusion as to the correct reading here, and consequently there must be doubt about the translation.08 yāpeti,
It is like, Ānanda, an old cart, which (only) keeps going when shored up with bamboo,

evam-eva kho Ānanda veḷumissakena maññe Tathāgatassa kāyo yāpeti.
just so, Ānanda, I think the Realised One's body (only) keeps going when shored up with bamboo.

Yasmiṁ Ānanda samaye Tathāgato sabbanimittānaṁ amanasikārā,
When the Realised One doesn't pay attention, Ānanda, to any of the signs,

ekaccānaṁ vedanānaṁ nirodhā, animittaṁ cetosamādhiṁ upasampajja viharati,
when all feelings have ceased, he lives having established the signless mind-concentration, In Paṭisambhidāmagga and Visuddhimagga this is known as animittācetovimutti, which is the fruition of Worthiness, it arises for one who applies his mind to impermanence as the predominant sign of existence.09

phāsutaro PTS: phāsukato, which would mean: (the Realised One's body) is made comfortable.10 Ānanda tasmiṁ samaye Tathāgatassa kāyo hoti.
and at that time, Ānanda, the Realised One's body is most comfortable.

Tasmātih' Ānanda attadīpā viharatha attasaraṇā anaññasaraṇā This section from here to the end should be compared with Ukkācelasuttaṁ, SN Satipaṭṭhānasaṁyuttaṁ, 49.14. See also the Extended Note which follows this section.11
Therefore, Ānanda, live with yourself as an island, yourself as a refuge, with no other refuge,

Dhammadīpā Dhammasaraṇā anaññasaraṇā.
with the Teaching as an island, the Teaching as a refuge, with no other refuge.

Kathañ-c' Ānanda bhikkhu attadīpo viharati attasaraṇo anaññasaraṇo
And how, Ānanda, does a monk live with himself as an island, himself as a refuge, with no other refuge,

Dhammadīpo Dhammasaraṇo anaññasaraṇo?
with the Teaching as an island, the Teaching as a refuge, with no other refuge?

Idh' Ānanda, bhikkhu kāye kāyānupassī viharati,
Here, Ānanda, a monk dwells contemplating (the nature of) the body in the body,

ātāpī sampajāno satimā, vineyya loke abhijjhādomanassaṁ;
ardent, fully aware, and mindful, after removing avarice and sorrow regarding the world; This is the summary of the ways of attending to mindfulness again (see above, section 15).12

vedanāsu vedanānupassī viharati,
he dwells contemplating (the nature of) feelings in feelings,

ātāpī sampajāno satimā, vineyya loke abhijjhādomanassaṁ;
ardent, fully aware, and mindful, after removing avarice and sorrow regarding the world;

citte cittānupassī viharati,
he dwells contemplating (the nature of) the mind in the mind,

ātāpī sampajāno satimā, vineyya loke abhijjhādomanassaṁ;
ardent, fully aware, and mindful, after removing avarice and sorrow regarding the world;

dhammesu dhammānupassī viharati,
he dwells contemplating (the nature of) things in (various) things,

ātāpī sampajāno satimā, vineyya loke abhijjhādomanassaṁ.
ardent, fully aware, and mindful, after removing avarice and sorrow regarding the world.

Evaṁ kho Ānanda bhikkhu attadīpo viharati attasaraṇo anaññasaraṇo,
Thus, Ānanda, a monk lives with himself as an island, himself as a refuge, with no other refuge,

Dhammadīpo Dhammasaraṇo anaññasaraṇo.
with the Teaching as an island, the Teaching as a refuge, with no other refuge.

Ye hi keci Ānanda etarahi vā mama vā accayena,
For whoever, Ānanda, whether at present or after my passing,

attadīpā viharissanti attasaraṇā anaññasaraṇā
lives with himself as an island, himself as a refuge, with no other refuge,

Dhammadīpā Dhammasaraṇā anaññasaraṇā,
with the Teaching as an island, the Teaching as a refuge, with no other refuge,

tama-t-agge me te Ānanda bhikkhū bhavissanti - ye keci sikkhākāmā.” ti
those monks of mine, Ānanda, will go from darkness to the highest Commentary paraphrases: evaṁ sabbaṁ tamayogaṁ chinditvā, ativiya agge uttamabhāve ete, Ānanda, mama bhikkhū bhavissanti; having in this way cut off all connection with the darkness, these monks of mine, Ānanda, will be at the absolute top of supreme existence.13 - whoever likes the training.”

Dutiyabhāṇavāraṁ.
The Second Chapter for Recital (is Finished).