Dhamma Topics and their Analysis
(Dhammatthavinicchayo)



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Buddha Topics

29. The Four Confidences

Cattāri Vesārajjā

Vesārajjasuttaṁ, AN 4.8

There are, monastics, these four confidences (vesārajja) of a Realised One (Tathāgata), endowed with these confidences the Realised One claims the place of the leader, and roars the lion’s roar (sīha nāda) among the assembly, and sets rolling the supreme wheel (brahmacakka).

Which four?

1. While claiming to be a Perfect Sambuddha these things have not been awakened to: herein, that an ascetic or a brahmin, or a god or a māra or a brahmā or anyone in the world, will reprove me (like this) with truth, with just cause, monastics, this I do not see, and not seeing, monastics, this just cause I dwell having attained safety (khema), having attained fearlessness (abhaya), having attained confidence (vesārajja),
2. while claiming to be one with pollutants destroyed these pollutants (āsava) are not destroyed: herein, that an ascetic or a brahmin, or a god or a māra or a brahmā or anyone in the world, will reprove me (like this) with truth, with just cause, monastics, this I do not see, and not seeing, monastics, this just cause I dwell having attained safety, having attained fearlessness, having attained confidence,
3. those things called obstacles (antarāyika) by you are unable to obstruct whoever practises them: herein, that an ascetic or a brahmin, or a god or a māra or a brahmā or anyone in the world, will reprove me (like this) with truth, with just cause, monastics, this I do not see, and not seeing, monastics, this just cause I dwell having attained safety, having attained fearlessness, having attained confidence,
4. when the Dhamma is taught with meaning to someone, it does not lead the one who practices it to the complete destruction of suffering (dukkhakkhaya): herein, that an ascetic or a brahmin, or a god or a māra or a brahmā or anyone in the world, will reprove me (like this) with truth, with just cause, monastics, this I do not see, and not seeing, monastics, this just cause I dwell having attained safety, having attained fearlessness, having attained confidence.

There are, monastics, these four confidences of a Realised One, endowed with these confidences the Realised One claims the place of the leader, and roars the lion’s roar among the assembly, and sets rolling the supreme wheel.

30. The Four Analytical Knowledges

Catasso Paṭisambhidā

from Milindapañho, 4.1

There are, great king, four analytic knowledges:

1. The analytic knowledge of meaning (attha),
2. the analytical knowledge of truth (dhamma),
3. the analytical knowledge of language (nirutti),
4. the analytical knowledge of inspired speech (paṭibhāna).

1. Whoever would ask me a question relating to the analytic knowledge of meaning,

I will speak to him comparing meaning with meaning,
I will speak comparing reason with reason,
I will speak comparing cause with cause,
I will speak comparing method with method,
I will make him be without doubt,

I will separate him from perplexity, I will satisfy him with an answer to the question.

2. Whoever would ask me a question relating to the analytic knowledge of the truth,

I will speak to him comparing truth with truth,
I will speak comparing the deathless with the deathless,
I will speak comparing the unconditioned with the unconditioned,
I will speak comparing Nibbāna with Nibbāna,
I will speak comparing emptiness with emptiness,
I will speak comparing the uncaused with the uncaused,
I will speak comparing the desireless with the desireless,
I will speak comparing the lust-free with the lust-free,
I will make him be without doubt,

I will separate him from perplexity, I will satisfy him with an answer to the question.

3. Whoever would ask me a question relating to the analytic knowledge of language,

I will speak to him comparing language with language,
I will speak comparing (the opening) line with (the opening) line,
I will speak comparing the following line with the following line,
I will speak comparing letter with letter,
I will speak comparing junction with junction,
I will speak comparing consonant with consonant,
I will speak comparing attribute with attribute,
I will speak comparing sound with sound,
I will speak comparing vowel with vowel,
I will speak comparing designation with designation,
I will speak comparing expression with expression,

I will make him be without doubt, I will separate him from perplexity, I will satisfy him with an answer to the question.

4. Whoever would ask me a question relating to the analytic knowledge of inspired speech,

I will speak to him comparing inspired speech with inspired speech,
I will speak comparing simile with simile,
I will speak comparing mark with mark,
I will speak comparing essence with essence,

I will make him be without doubt, I will separate him from perplexity, I will satisfy him with an answer to the question.

31. The Ten Strengths of a Realised One

Dasa Tathāgatabalāni

from Sīhanādasuttaṁ, AN 10.21

There are, monastics, for the Realised One (Tathāgata) these ten strengths (bala) of a Realised One, endowed with these strengths the Realised One claims the place of the leader, and roars the lion’s roar among the assembly, and sets rolling the supreme wheel (brahmacakka).

Which ten?

1. Here, monastics, the Realised One knows as it really is the possible as possible, and the impossible as impossible. Since, monastics, the Realised One knows as it really is the possible as possible, and the impossible as impossible, this, monastics, is for the Realised One a strength of a Realised One, and the Realised One, having this strength, claims the leader’s place, he roar’s the lion’s roar, and sets the supreme wheel rolling.
2. Furthermore, monastics, the Realised One regarding deeds undertaken in the past, future or present, knows as it really is the result in terms of possibilities and causes…
3. Furthermore, monastics, the Realised One knows as it really is the practice leading to all destinations…
4. Furthermore, monastics, the Realised One knows as it really is the world’s manifold elements and various elements…
5. Furthermore, monastics, the Realised One knows as it really is other beings’ manifold inclinations…
6. Furthermore, monastics, the Realised One knows as it really is the disposition of other beings’ and other persons’ faculties…
7. Furthermore, monastics, the Realised One – the absorptions, freedoms, concentrations, attainments, and the rising from and purity in regard to the defilements – knows them as it really is…
8. Furthermore, monastics, the Realised One recollects various previous existences, such as: one life, two lives, three lives, four lives, five lives, ten lives, twenty lives, thirty lives, forty lives, fifty lives, a hundred lives, a thousand lives, a hundred thousand lives, innumerable aeons of devolution, innumerable aeons of evolution, innumerable aeons of devolution and evolution (thus): in such and such a place I had this name, this family, this class, this food, this experience of pleasure and pain, this life term; passing away from there I arose in another state of existence, and in that place I had this name, this family, this class, this food, this experience of pleasure and pain, this life term, and passing away from there I arose here, and so with their characteristics and with their details he recollects his various previous existences…
9. Furthermore, monastics, the Realised One with the divine eye which is purified and surpasses that of (normal) men sees the passing away and arising of beings, inferior, superior, beautiful, ugly, in a good destiny, in a bad destiny, and he knows beings arise according to their (good and bad) actions: These venerables who are endowed with bad bodily conduct, endowed with bad verbal conduct, endowed with bad mental conduct, who blamed the noble ones, were ones of wrong view, and undertook deeds based on wrong view, at the break-up of the body, after death, arise in the lower world, in an unfortunate destiny, in the fall, in the nether region; and these venerables who are endowed with good bodily conduct, endowed with good verbal conduct, endowed with good mental conduct, who did not blame the noble ones, were ones of right view, and undertook deeds based on right view, at the break-up of the body, after death, arise in a good destiny, a heavenly world. Thus with the divine eye which is purified and surpasses that of (normal) men he sees the passing away and arising of beings, inferior, superior, beautiful, ugly, in a good destiny, in a bad destiny, and he knows beings arise according to their (good and bad) actions…
10. Furthermore, monastics, the Realised One through the destruction of the pollutants, without pollutants, freed in mind, freed through wisdom, dwells having known, having directly experienced, and having attained (Nibbāna) himself in this very life. Since, monastics, the Realised One through the destruction of the pollutants, without pollutants, freed in mind, freed through wisdom, dwells having known, having directly experienced, and having attained (Nibbāna) himself in this very life, this, monastics, is for the Realised One a strength of a Realised One, and the Realised One, having this strength, claims the leader’s place, he roar’s the lion’s roar, and sets the supreme wheel rolling.

There are, monastics, for a Realised One these ten strengths of a Realised One, endowed with these strengths the Realised One claims the place of the leader, and roars the lion’s roar among the assembly, and sets rolling the supreme wheel.

32. The Eighteen Qualities of a Buddha

Aṭṭhārasa Buddhadhammā

from Dīghanikāyaṭṭhakathā on Saṅgītisuttaṁ

There are eighteen qualities of a Buddha:

1. There is no wrong bodily conduct for a Realised One,
2. there is no wrong verbal conduct,
3. there is no wrong mental conduct,
4. the Buddha’s knowledge of the past is unobstructed,
5. the Buddha’s knowledge of the future is unobstructed,
6. the Buddha’s knowledge of the present is unobstructed,
7. all the deeds done by way of body do not return to the Buddha, the Gracious One,
8. all the deeds done by way of speech do not return to the Buddha, the Gracious One,
9. all the deeds done by way of mind do not return to the Buddha, the Gracious One,
10. he does not have a loss of (wholesome) desire,
11. he does not have a loss of energy,
12. he does not have a loss of mindfulness,
13. he does not play around,
14. he does not cry out,
15. he does not tremble,
16. he does not use force,
17. he does not have a worried mind,
18. he does not have an unwholesome thought.

33. The Thirty-Two Marks of a Great Man

Dvātiṁsa Mahāpuriṣalakkhaṇāni

from Brahmāyusuttaṁ, MN 91

The reverend Gotama is endowed with the thirty-two marks of a great man (mahāpuriṣalakkhaṇa):

1. He has well placed feet, this is, for the great man, the venerable Gotama, a mark of a great man,
2. under the soles of his feet there are wheels, with a thousand rims and naves, complete in every way…
3. the heels are long and deep…
4. the fingers are long…
5. the hands and feet are soft and tender…
6. the hands and feet are webbed…
7. the ankles are high…
8. the calves are like an antelope’s…
9. when he stands … without bending he can rub and stroke both his knees with his hands…
10. what is covered by a cloth is ensheathed…
11. he is golden in colour, has skin like gold…
12. he has fine skin, and because of the fine skin, dust and dirt to not adhere to him…
13. the body-hairs arise singly, each body hair appearing in its own hair follicle…
14. the hair bristles, his bristling hair is black, the colour of collyrium, turning in curls, turning to the right…
15. the limbs are straight like brahmā’s…
16. there are seven prominent marks…
17. the torso is like a lion’s…
18. between the shoulders it is firm…
19. the (body) is well-proportioned like a banyan tree, the extent of the body equals the extent of the arm span, the extent of the arm span equals the extent of the body…
20. the upper back is even all round,
21. the taste buds are supremely sensitive…
22. the jaw is like a lion’s…
23. there are forty teeth…
24. the teeth are even…
25. the teeth are without gaps…
26. the teeth are very white…
27. the tongue is very large…
28. the voice is like brahmā’s or like the sound of the cuckoo…
29. the eyes are very dark…
30. the eyelashes are like a cow’s…
31. the tuft of hair between the eyebrows on his forehead is very white like cotton…
32. there is a protuberance on the head, this is, for the great man, the venerable Gotama, a mark of a great man.

34. Sixty-Two Ways of Deportment

Dvesaṭṭhi Iriyāpathā

from Brahmāyusuttaṁ, MN 91

1. When walking … he steps with the right foot first,
2. he doesn’t lift the foot too far, or lay it down too near,
3. he doesn’t walk too quickly, he doesn’t walk too slowly,
4. he walks without knee knocking on knee,
5. he walks without ankle knocking on ankle,
6. he walks without bending the thighs upwards, without bending the thighs downwards, without bending the thighs inwards, without bending the thighs outwards,
7. when walking … only the lower body moves,
8. he walks without over-exerting the body,
9. when looking ahead … he looks ahead with the whole body (facing), he does not look up, he does not look down,
10. he does not walk while looking around,
11. he looks ahead but a yoke’s length, because beyond that his knowledge and insight are unhindered,
12. when entering between the houses he does so without bending the body upwards, without bending the body downwards, without bending the body inwards, without bending the body outwards,
13. he doesn’t turn to the seat when too far or too near,
14. he sits without leaning with his hand on the seat,
15. he does not throw his body into the seat,
16. when sitting in the houses he does not exhibit bad conduct with the hands, he does not exhibit bad conduct with the feet,
17. he sits without knee knocking on knee,
18. he sits without ankle knocking on ankle,
19. he sits without placing his hand on his jaw,
20. when sitting in the houses he is without fear, without wavering, without quaking, without trembling,
21. he is without fear, without wavering, without quaking, without trembling, his hair does not stand on end, he is intent on seclusion… when sitting in the houses,
22. when taking water in the bowl he does so without bending the bowl upwards, without bending the bowl downwards, without bending the bowl inwards, without bending the bowl outwards,
23. when taking water in the bowl he takes neither too little, nor too much,
24. he washes the bowl without knocking it around,
25. he washes the bowl without rolling it around,
26. he washes the hands without having placed the bowl on the ground,
27. the bowl is rinsed when his hands are rinsed, his hands are rinsed when the bowl is rinsed,
28. he discards the bowl water neither too far nor too near, without throwing it about,
29. when taking rice in the bowl he does so without bending the bowl upwards, without bending the bowl downwards, without bending the bowl inwards, without bending the bowl outwards,
30. when taking rice in the bowl he takes neither too little, nor too much,
31. he takes a measure of curry for … his curry, he does not exceed the morsel (of rice) with (excessive) curry,
32. he swallows the morsel (of rice) in his mouth, after chewing it over … two or three times,
33. no rice enters his body unmasticated, and no rice remains in his mouth,
34. furthermore he does not take in excess of a morsel,
35. he takes his food … experiencing the taste, not experiencing passion for the taste,
36. endowed with eight factors … he takes his food:

{1} not for sport,
{2} or for showing off,
{3} not for ornament,
{4} or for adornment,
{5} but only to maintain this body, and to carry on,
{6} to inhibit annoyance,
{7} and to assist in the spiritual life,
{8} thinking: so I will get rid of any old feeling, and not produce any new feeling, and I will carry on, being blameless, and living comfortably.

37. after eating, when taking water in the bowl, he does so without bending the bowl upwards, without bending the bowl downwards, without bending the bowl inwards, without bending the bowl outwards,
38. when taking water in the bowl he takes neither too little, nor too much,
39. he washes the bowl without knocking it around,
40. he washes the bowl without rolling it around,
41. he washes the hands without having placed the bowl on the ground,
42. the bowl is rinsed when his hands are rinsed, his hands are rinsed when the bowl is rinsed,
43. he discards the bowl water neither too far nor too near, without throwing it about,
44. after eating, he places the bowl down on the ground neither too far nor too near,
45. he is not careless with the bowl, nor is he over-protective of the bowl,
46. after eating, he sits quietly for a while, but he does not exceed the time for the rejoicing,
47. after eating, he rejoices, not blaming them for the food, not longing for other food,
48. he surely instructs the assembly with a Dhamma talk, rouses, enthuses, and cheers (them),
49. after instructing the assembly with a Dhamma talk, rousing, enthusing, and cheering (them), he rises from his seat and goes away,
50. he doesn’t leave too quickly, he doesn’t leave too slowly, he doesn’t leave desiring to be free (of them),
51. he does not hold his … robe too high on his body, nor too low, it does not cling too tight, nor hang too loose on his body,
52. the wind does not drive the robe off … from his body,
53. fine dust and dirt do not adhere … to his body,
54. he goes to the monastery and sits down on the appointed seat, and while sitting he washes his feet, but he does not dwell devoted to adorning his feet,
55. after washing his feet, he sits down, after folding his legs crosswise, setting his body straight, and establishing mindfulness at the front,
56. he does not think about harming himself, he does not think about harming others, he does not think about harming both,
57. he sits down thinking about … the welfare of himself, the welfare of others, the welfare of both,
58. he goes to the monastery and teaches Dhamma to the assembly, he does not flatter the assembly, he does not disparage the assembly,
59. he surely instructs the assembly with a Dhamma talk, rouses, enthuses, and cheers (them),
60. endowed with eight factors … the sound goes forth from his mouth:

{1} It is distinct,
{2} intelligible,
{3} sweet,
{4} pleasant,
{5} concise,
{6} undefused,
{7} deep,
{8} melodious,

61. as far as the assembly extends … his voice is intelligible, but the sound does not go forth beyond the assembly,
62. when they have been instructed with a Dhamma talk by him, roused, enthused, and cheered, they rise from their seats and go away, looking only (at him), forsaking (anyone else).

35. The Eighty Secondary Characteristics

Asītyanubyañjanāni

from Milindaṭīkā

1. (The great man has) fingers without spaces,
2. graduated fingers,
3. rounded fingers,
4. copper-coloured nails,
5. prominent nails,
6. glossy nails,
7. hidden ankles,
8. even feet,
9. he proceeds like an elephant,
10. he proceeds like a lion,
11. he proceeds like a goose,
12. he proceeds like a bull,
13. he has limbs turning to the right,
14. kneecaps that are charming on all sides,
15. fullsome genitals,
16. a navel without defects,
17. a deep navel,
18. a navel turning to the right,
19. beautiful thighs like a plantain,
20. hands that are shaped like Erāvaṇa’s Erāvaṇa is Indra’s elephant. trunk,
21. graduated limbs,
22. smooth limbs,
23. pure limbs,
24. well-arranged limbs,
25. every limb is neither too big nor too small,
26. unsluggish limbs,
27. limbs free of spots and so on,
28. graduated, pleasant limbs,
29. purified limbs,
30. limbs that have the strength of a million elephants,
31. a prominent nose,
32. a well-shaped nose,
33. red gums,
34. clean teeth,
35. very purified sense faculties,
36. rounded canine teeth,
37. red lips like fruits,
38. a long face,
39. deep lines of the hands,
40. long lines,
41. straight lines,
42. well-shaped, pleasant lines,
43. a proportionate body,
44. fullsome cheeks,
45. long and large eyes,
46. eyes that are clear in five ways,
47. eyelashes like reeds,
48. a soft and thin red tongue,
49. a long tongue,
50. long and pleasant ears,
51. veins that are not varicose,
52. veins that are not hidden,
53. a charming head shaped like an umbrella,
54. a long and broad forehead that is radiant,
55. well-shaped eyebrows,
56. black eyebrows,
57. smooth eyebrows,
58. regular eyebrows,
59. large eyebrows,
60. long eyebrows,
61. graceful limbs,
62. extremely bright limbs,
63. extremely agreeable limbs,
64. very pure limbs,
65. soft limbs,
66. glossy limbs,
67. a fragrant body,
68. even body-hairs,
69. maintaining very fine in- and out-breaths,
70. a well-shaped mouth,
71. a pleasant and slender waist,
72. a fragrant mouth,
73. a fragrant head,
74. black hair,
75. hair turning to the right,
76. well-shaped hair,
77. glossy hair,
78. smooth hair,
79. untangled hair,
80. a beautiful, bejewelled halo.