Mahāparinibbānasuttaṁ
The Discourse about the Great Emancipation

[Catutthabhāṇavāraṁ]
[The Fourth Chapter for Recitation]

[27: Cattāro Ariyadhammā]
[The Four Noble Things]

Atha kho Bhagavā pubbaṇhasamayaṁ nivāsetvā,
Then the Gracious One, having dressed in the morning time,

pattacīvaram-ādāya Vesāliṁ piṇḍāya pāvisi.
after picking up his bowl and robe, entered Vesālī for alms.

Vesāliyaṁ piṇḍāya caritvā, pacchābhattaṁ piṇḍapātapaṭikkanto,
After walking for alms in Vesālī, when he was returning from the alms-round after the meal,

nāgāpalokitaṁ Vesāliṁ apaloketvā,
after looking at Vesālī with an elephant's look, Comm: Buddhānaṁ ... saṅkhalikāni viya ekābaddhāni hutvā ṭhitāni, tasmā pacchato apalokanakāle na sakkā hoti gīvaṁ parivattetuṁ; the Buddhas' (bones) are bound together like a chain, therefore at the time they look behind, they are unable to turn the neck.01

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

“Idaṁ pacchimakaṁ Ānanda Tathāgatassa Vesāliyā dassanaṁ bhavissati.
“This is the last time, Ānanda, there will be sight of Vesālī for the Realised One.

 

Āyām' Ānanda yena Bhaṇḍagāmo tenupasaṅkamissāmā.” ti
Come Ānanda let us approach Bhaṇḍagāma.” Bhaṇḍa means goods, wares, merchandise, so the village was probably a market-town.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 Bhaṇḍagāmo tad-avasari.
Then the Gracious One together with a great Community of monks arrived at Bhaṇḍagāma.

Tatra sudaṁ Bhagavā Bhaṇḍagāme viharati.
There the Gracious One lived near Bhaṇḍagāma.

Tatra kho Bhagavā bhikkhū āmantesi:
There the Gracious One said this to the monks:

“Catunnaṁ, bhikkhave, dhammānaṁ ananubodhā appaṭivedhā
“Because of a lack of understanding and a lack of penetration, monks, of four things

evam-idaṁ dīgham-addhānaṁ sandhāvitaṁ saṁsaritaṁ mamañ-ceva tumhākañ-ca.
both you and I have been wandering and running along (in Saṁsāra) for a long time. Compare this with section 13 above, which is almost identical, but the four things there are the Four Noble Truths. Compare also with the summary of the teaching given at the end of most sections.03

Katamesaṁ catunnaṁ?
Which four?

Ariyassa, bhikkhave, Sīlassa ananubodhā appaṭivedhā
Because of a lack of understanding and a lack of penetration of Noble Virtue The Commentary doesn't comment on this section and this and the next 3 terms do not seem to have been defined elsewhere either. Perhaps Ariyasīla would mean the Virtue section of the Eightfold Noble Path (Right Speech, Action and Livelihood); Ariyasamādhi the Concentrated (Development) section (Right Endeavour, Mindfulness and Concentration), Ariyapaññā the Wisdom section (Right View and Thought). Then Ariyavimutti would refer to Right Freedom (Sammāvimutti) and Right knowledge and Insight into Freedom (Sammāvimuttiñāṇadassana) in the extended Tenfold formula.04

evam-idaṁ dīgham-addhānaṁ sandhāvitaṁ saṁsaritaṁ mamañ-ceva tumhākañ-ca.
both you and I have been wandering and running along (in Saṁsāra) Saṁsarita and Saṁsāra are both derived from the verb saṁsarati, to run on, run along. Saṁsāra implies running on from birth to birth.05 for a long time.

Ariyassa, bhikkhave, Samādhissa ananubodhā appaṭivedhā
Because of a lack of understanding and a lack of penetration of Noble Concentrated (Development) If the note above is correct then Ariyasamādhi refers to Right Endeavour, Mindfulness and Concentration, which means that Samādhi here must mean something more than simply concentration, being a concentrated development of the mind in various spheres.06

evam-idaṁ dīgham-addhānaṁ sandhāvitaṁ saṁsaritaṁ mamañ-ceva tumhākañ-ca.
both you and I have been wandering and running along (in Saṁsāra) for a long time.

Ariyāya, bhikkhave, Paññāya ananubodhā appaṭivedhā
Because of a lack of understanding and a lack of penetration of Noble Wisdom

evam-idaṁ dīgham-addhānaṁ sandhāvitaṁ saṁsaritaṁ mamañ-ceva tumhākañ-ca.
both you and I have been wandering and running along (in Saṁsāra) for a long time.

Ariyāya, bhikkhave, Vimuttiyā ananubodhā appaṭivedhā
Because of a lack of understanding and a lack of penetration of Noble Freedom

evam-idaṁ dīgham-addhānaṁ sandhāvitaṁ saṁsaritaṁ mamañ-ceva tumhākañ-ca.
both you and I have been wandering and running along (in Saṁsāra) for a long time.

Ta-y-idaṁ, bhikkhave, Ariyaṁ Sīlaṁ anubuddhaṁ paṭividdhaṁ,
(But now) this Noble Virtue has been understood and penetrated,

Ariyo Samādhi anubuddho paṭividdho,
this Noble Concentrated (Development) has been understood and penetrated,

Ariyā Paññā anubuddhā paṭividdhā,
this Noble Wisdom has been understood and penetrated,

Ariyā Vimutti anubuddhā paṭividdhā.
this Noble Freedom has been understood and penetrated.

Ucchinnā bhavataṇhā khīṇā bhavanetti natthi dāni punabbhavo.” ti
Craving for continued existence has been cut off, what leads to rebirth has been exhausted, there is no continuation in existence.”

Idam-avoca Bhagavā idaṁ vatvā Sugato athāparaṁ etad-avoca Satthā:
The Gracious One said this, and after saying this, the Fortunate One, the Teacher, said something more:

“Sīlaṁ Samādhi Paññā ca Vimutti ca anuttarā,
“Virtue, Concentration, Wisdom, and unsurpassed Freedom,

Anubuddhā ime dhammā Gotamena yasassinā,
These things have been understood by the Famous Gotama, This verse seems to have been spoken about the Buddha, not by him (it also occurs, however, with the same ascription, at AN Bks. 4.1 and 7.66).07

Iti Buddho abhiññāya Dhammam-akkhāsi bhikkhunaṁ
Thus after knowing it deeply the Buddha declared the Teaching to the monks,

Dukkhassantaṅkaro Satthā Cakkhumā parinibbuto.” ti
The Suffering-Ender, the Teacher, the Visionary One Cakkhumā, the Buddha has the physical-eye (maṁsacakkhu), the divine-eye (dibbacakkhu), the wisdom-eye (paññācakkhu), the Buddha-eye, and the All-Round-eye (samantacakkhu).08 who is Emancipated.”

* * *

Tatra pi sudaṁ Bhagavā Bhaṇḍagāme viharanto,
There also the Gracious One, while living in Bhaṇḍagāma,

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.”