Mahāparinibbānasuttaṁ
The Discourse about the Great Emancipation

[Chaṭṭhabhāṇavāraṁ]
[The Sixth Chapter for Recitation]

[41: Parinibbānaṁ]
[The Final Emancipation]

Atha kho Bhagavā paṭhamajjhānaṁ samāpajji,
Then the Gracious One attained the first absorption,

paṭhamajjhānā vuṭṭhahitvā, dutiyajjhānaṁ samāpajji,
and after emerging from the first absorption he attained the second absorption,

dutiyajjhānā vuṭṭhahitvā, tatiyajjhānaṁ samāpajji,
and after emerging from the second absorption he attained the third absorption,

tatiyajjhānā vuṭṭhahitvā, catutthajjhānaṁ samāpajji,
and after emerging from the third absorption he attained the fourth absorption, The first 4 absorptions are referred to as the form absorptions (rūpajhāna), the next 4 are called formless absorptions (arūpajhāna).01

catutthajjhānā vuṭṭhahitvā, ākāsānañcāyatanaṁ samāpajji,
and after emerging from the fourth absorption he attained the sphere of endless space,

ākāsānañcāyatanasamāpattiyā vuṭṭhahitvā, viññāṇañcāyatanaṁ samāpajji,
and after emerging from the sphere of endless space he attained the sphere of endless consciousness,

viññāṇañcāyatanasamāpattiyā vuṭṭhahitvā, ākiñcaññāyatanaṁ samāpajji,
and after emerging from the sphere of endless consciousness he attained the sphere of nothingness,

ākiñcaññāyatanasamāpattiyā vuṭṭhahitvā,
and after emerging from the sphere of nothingness,

nevasaññānāsaññātayanaṁ samāpajji,
he attained the sphere of neither-perception-nor-non-perception,

nevasaññānāsaññāyatanasamāpattiyā vuṭṭhahitvā,
and after emerging from the sphere of neither-perception-nor-non-perception,

saññāvedayitanirodhaṁ samāpajji.
he attained the cessation of perception and feeling.

 

Atha kho āyasmā Ānando āyasmantaṁ Anuruddhaṁ etad-avoca:
Then venerable Ānanda said this to venerable Anuruddha:

“Parinibbuto Bhante Anuruddha Bhagavā?” ti
“(Has) the Gracious One, reverend Anuruddha, attained Final Emancipation?” From here onwards until the arrival of Ven. Mahākassapa, Ven. Anuruddha is the monk everyone turns to for guidance.02

“Nāvuso Ānanda Bhagavā parinibbuto saññāvedayitanirodhaṁ samāpanno.” ti
“The Gracious One, reverend Ānanda, has not attained Final Emancipation, he has attained the cessation of perception and feeling.” The difference between being in this state and being dead in described in Mahāvedallasuttaṁ (MN 43), where it says in both the bodily, verbal, and mental processes (kāya-, vacī-, cittasaṅkhārā) have stopped and subsided; but in one who is dead the lifespan (āyu) has ended, the vital heat (usmā) has cooled down, and the faculties (indriya) have dispersed. Not so in one with this attainment, though from the outside it must be difficult to tell the difference.03

Atha kho Bhagavā saññāvedayitanirodhasamāpattiyā vuṭṭhahitvā,
Then the Gracious One, after emerging from the cessation of perception and feeling,

nevasaññānāsaññāyatanaṁ samāpajji,
attained the sphere of neither-perception-nor-non-perception,

nevasaññānāsaññāyatanasamāpattiyā vuṭṭhahitvā, ākiñcaññāyatanaṁ samāpajji,
and after emerging from the sphere of neither-perception-nor-non-perception he attained the sphere of nothingness,

ākiñcaññāyatanasamāpattiyā vuṭṭhahitvā, viññāṇañcāyatanaṁ samāpajji,
and after emerging from the sphere of nothingness he attained the sphere of endless consciousness,

viññāṇañcāyatanasamāpattiyā vuṭṭhahitvā, ākāsānañcāyatanaṁ samāpajji,
and after emerging from the sphere of endless consciousness he attained the sphere of endless space,

ākāsānañcāyatanasamāpattiyā vuṭṭhahitvā, catutthajjhānaṁ samāpajji,
and after emerging from the sphere of endless space he attained the fourth absorption,

catutthajjhānā vuṭṭhahitvā, tatiyajjhānaṁ samāpajji,
and after emerging from the fourth absorption he attained the third absorption,

tatiyajjhānā vuṭṭhahitvā, dutiyajjhānaṁ samāpajji,
and after emerging from the third absorption he attained the second absorption,

dutiyajjhānā vuṭṭhahitvā, paṭhamajjhānaṁ samāpajji,
and after emerging from the second absorption he attained the first absorption,

paṭhamajjhānā vuṭṭhahitvā, dutiyajjhānaṁ samāpajji,
and after emerging from the first absorption he attained the second absorption,

dutiyajjhānā vuṭṭhahitvā, tatiyajjhānaṁ samāpajji,
and after emerging from the second absorption he attained the third absorption,

tatiyajjhānā vuṭṭhahitvā, catutthajjhānaṁ samāpajji,
and after emerging from the third absorption he attained the fourth absorption,

catutthajjhānā vuṭṭhahitvā, samanantarā Bhagavā parinibbāyi.
and after emerging from the fourth absorption, immediately the Gracious One attained Final Emancipation.

 

Parinibbute Bhagavati saha Parinibbānā mahābhūmicālo ahosi,
When the Gracious One attained Final Emancipation along with the Emancipation there was a great earthquake,

bhiṁsanako lomahaṁso Devadundubhiyo ca phaliṁsu.
and an awful, horrifying crash of the Divinities' (thunder) drum.

Parinibbute Bhagavati saha Parinibbānā
When the Gracious One attained Final Emancipation along with the Emancipation

Brahmā Sahampati imaṁ gāthaṁ abhāsi:
Brahmā Sahampati spoke this verse: It was Brahmā Sahampati who had requested the newly Awakened Buddha ot preach some 45 years previously.04

“Sabbe va nikkhipissanti bhūtā loke samussayaṁ,
“All beings in the world will surely lay aside the body,

Yathā ChS, Thai: Yattha; where, wherever, which does not have a good meaning.05 Etādiso Satthā loke appaṭipuggalo,
In the same way the Teacher, Such-like, unmatched in the world,

Tathāgato balappatto Sambuddho parinibbuto.” ti
the Realised One, attained to (the ten) strengths, the Sambuddha, has attained Final Emancipation.”

Parinibbute Bhagavati saha Parinibbānā
When the Gracious One attained Final Emancipation along with the Emancipation

Sakko Devānamindo imaṁ gāthaṁ abhāsi:
Sakka, the Lord of the Divinities, spoke this verse:

“Aniccā vata saṅkhārā uppādavayadhammino
“Impermanent, indeed, are (all) processes, arisen they have the nature to decay,

Uppajjitvā nirujjhanti tesaṁ vūpasamo sukho.” ti
After arising they come to cessation, the stilling of them is blissful.” This famous verse is normally chanted by monks at a funeral.06

Parinibbute Bhagavati saha Parinibbānā
When the Gracious One attained Final Emancipation along with the Emancipation

āyasmā Anuruddho imā gāthāyo abhāsi:
venerable Anuruddha spoke these verses:

“Nāhu assāsapassāso ṭhitacittassa Tādino,
“There is no more breathing for that Such-like one of steady mind,

Anejo santim-ārabbha yaṁ kālam-akarī Muni.
Freed from lust, the Sage who has died, has entered the peace (of Nibbāna).

Asallīnena cittena vedanaṁ ajjhavāsayi,
With an unshaken heart, he endured the painful feelings,

Pajjotasseva Nibbānaṁ vimokkho cetaso ahū.” ti
Like a flame (when it goes out) so his mind was liberated in Nibbāna.” In Aggivacchasuttaṁ (MN 72) the Buddha tells Vaccha that as with a fire that has gone out you cannot say it has gone to the East, West, North or South, similarly with the mind of someone who is fully released you cannot say that it will arise or not arise. The question simply doesn't apply.07

Parinibbute Bhagavati saha Parinibbānā
When the Gracious One attained Final Emancipation along with the Emancipation

āyasmā Ānando imaṁ gāthaṁ abhāsi:
venerable Ānanda spoke this verse:

“Tad-āsi yaṁ bhiṁsanakaṁ tad-āsi lomahaṁsanaṁ,
“With that there was fear, with that there was horror,

Sabbākāravarūpete Sambuddhe Parinibbute.” ti
When the Sambuddha, endowed with all noble qualities, attained Emancipation.”

Parinibbute Bhagavati ye tattha bhikkhū avītarāgā
When the Gracious One attained Final Emancipation those monks there who were not free from passion,

appekacce bāhā paggayha kandanti, chinnapātaṁ papatanti āvaṭṭanti vivaṭṭanti:
throwing up their arms, falling down (as though) cut down, rolling backwards and forwards as though with their feet cut off, were crying:

‘Atikhippaṁ Bhagavā parinibbuto,
‘Too quickly the Gracious One has attained Final Emancipation,

atikhippaṁ Sugato parinibbuto,
too quickly the Fortunate One has attained Final Emancipation,

atikhippaṁ Cakkhumā loke antarahito!’ ti
too quickly the Visionary in the world has disappeared!’

Ye pana te bhikkhū vītarāgā te satā sampajānā adhivāsenti:
But those monks who were free from passion, mindfully, with full awareness, endured, (thinking):

“Aniccā saṅkhārā taṁ kutettha labbhā?” ti
“Impermanent are (all) processes, how can it be otherwise?”

 

Atha kho āyasmā Anuruddho bhikkhū āmantesi:
Then venerable Anuruddha said this to the monks:

“Alaṁ āvuso mā socittha mā paridevittha,
“Enough, friends, do not grieve, do not lament,

na nu etaṁ āvuso Bhagavatā paṭikacceva akkhātaṁ:
were you not warned by the Gracious One when he declared:

‘Sabbeheva piyehi manāpehi nānābhāvo vinābhāvo aññathābhāvo.’
‘There is alteration in, separation from, and changeability in all that is dear and appealing.’

Taṁ kutettha āvuso labbhā yaṁ taṁ,
How can it be otherwise, friends, for that which is obtained,

jātaṁ bhūtaṁ saṅkhataṁ palokadhammaṁ?
born, become, in process, subject to dissolution?

‘Taṁ vata mā palujjī’ ti netaṁ ṭhānaṁ vijjati.
It is not possible (to say) this: ‘It should not dissolve’.

Devatā āvuso ujjhāyantī.” ti
The Divinities, friends, are complaining.”

“Kathaṁbhūtā pana Bhante āyasmā Anuruddho Devatā manasikarotī?” ti
“But what beings and Divinities is the venerable Anuruddha thinking of?”

“Santāvuso Ānanda Devatā ākāse Paṭhavīsaññiniyo kese pakiriya kandanti
“There are, friend Ānanda, Divinities in the sky, perceiving the Earth, who, having dishevelled hair, are weeping,

bāhā paggayha kandanti chinnapātaṁ papatanti āvaṭṭanti vivaṭṭanti
throwing up their arms, falling down (as though) cut down, rolling backwards and forwards as though with their feet cut off, crying:

‘Atikhippaṁ Bhagavā parinibbuto,
‘Too quickly the Gracious One has attained Final Emancipation,

atikhippaṁ Sugato parinibbuto,
too quickly the Fortunate One has attained Final Emancipation,

atikhippaṁ Cakkhumā loke antarahito!’ ti
too quickly the Visionary in the world has disappeared!’

Santāvuso Ānanda Devatā Paṭhaviyā Paṭhavīsaññiniyo kese pakiriya kandanti
There are, friend Ānanda, Divinities on the Earth, perceiving the Earth, who, having dishevelled hair, are weeping,

bāhā paggayha kandanti chinnapātaṁ papatanti āvaṭṭanti vivaṭṭanti
throwing up their arms, falling down (as though) cut down, rolling backwards and forwards as though with their feet cut off, crying:

‘Atikhippaṁ Bhagavā parinibbuto,
‘Too quickly the Gracious One has attained Final Emancipation,

atikhippaṁ Sugato parinibbuto,
too quickly the Fortunate One has attained Final Emancipation,

atikhippaṁ Cakkhumā loke antarahito!’ ti
too quickly the Visionary in the world has disappeared!’

Yā pana tā Devatā vītarāgā tā satā sampajānā adhivāsenti:
But those Divinities, who have cut off passion, they mindfully, with full awareness, endure, (thinking):

‘Aniccā saṅkhārā taṁ kutettha labbhā?’.” ti
‘Impermanent are (all) processes, how can it be otherwise?’ ”

Parinibbana of Lord Buddha