MN 85. Bodhirājakumārasuttaṁ
The Discourse to Prince Bodhi

[4. The Meeting with Uddaka Rāmaputta]



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So kho ahaṁ, Rājakumāra,
Then, Prince,

kiṁkusalagavesī, anuttaraṁ santivarapadaṁ pariyesamāno,
still searching for what was wholesome, the unsurpassed, noble and peaceful state,

yena Uddako ChS: Udak-, throughout. 01 Rāmaputto tenupasaṅkamiṁ,
I approached Uddaka Rāmaputta,

upasaṅkamitvā Uddakaṁ Rāmaputtaṁ etad-avocaṁ:
and after approaching, I said this to Uddaka Rāmaputta:

“Icchāmahaṁ, āvuso, BJT, RTE adds Rāma, thereby identifying Uddaka and Rāma. For these readings please see the comments in my Introduction to the Ariyapariyesanasuttaṁ, elsewhere on this website.02 imasmiṁ Dhammavinaye brahmacariyaṁ caritun.”-ti
“I desire, friend, to lead the spiritual life in this Dhamma and Discipline.”

Evaṁ vutte, Rājakumāra, Uddako Rāmaputto maṁ etad-avoca:
When this was said, Prince, Uddaka Rāmaputta said this to me:

“Viharatāyasmā, tādiso ayaṁ Dhammo yattha viññū puriso
“Live here, venerable, this Dhamma is such that a wise man

na cirasseva, sakaṁ ācariyakaṁ sayaṁ abhiññā,
in no long time, having deep knowledge himself of what comes from his own teacher,

sacchikatvā upasampajja vihareyyā.” ti
can live, having directly experienced and attained it.”

So kho ahaṁ, Rājakumāra, na cirasseva,
Then in no long time, Prince,

khippam-eva taṁ Dhammaṁ pariyāpuṇiṁ.
soon I had mastered that Dhamma.

So kho ahaṁ, Rājakumāra, tāvatakeneva,
Then, Prince, after a little time I indeed,

oṭṭhapahatamattena, RTE: -mattakena here, but -mattena above, alternative form, similarly in the next compound.03 lapitalāpanamattena,
merely through beating my lips, merely through repeating the prattling,

ñāṇavādañ-ca vadāmi theravādañ-ca,
spoke knowingly about that teaching and confidently about that teaching,

‘Jānāmi RTE: pajānāmi here but jānāmi above, inconsistency04 passāmī’ ti ca paṭijānāmi.
claiming: ‘I know, I see.’

Ahañ-ceva aññe ca.
Both I and others also.

 

Tassa mayhaṁ, Rājakumāra, etad-ahosi:
Then, Prince, this occurred to me:

‘Na kho Rāmo: “Imaṁ Dhammaṁ kevalaṁ saddhāmattakena,
o ‘Rāma did not declare: “Through mere faith in this Dhamma alone,

sayaṁ abhiññā sacchikatvā upasampajja viharāmī,” ti pavedesi, RTE: pavedeti, present tense.05
having knowledge of it myself, I live, having directly experienced and attained it,”

addhā Rāmo imaṁ Dhammaṁ jānaṁ passaṁ vihāsī.’ ti
for sure Rāma lived knowing and seeing this Dhamma.’

Atha khvāhaṁ, Rājakumāra, yena Uddako Rāmaputto tenupasaṅkamiṁ,
Then, Prince, I approached Uddaka Rāmaputta,

upasaṅkamitvā, Uddakaṁ Rāmaputtaṁ etad-avocaṁ:
and after approaching, I said this to Uddaka Rāmaputta:

“Kittāvatā no, āvuso, Rāmo: BJT, RTE: Rāma, a vocative, again as though Rāma were Uddaka.06 Imaṁ Dhammaṁ sayaṁ abhiññā,
o “In what way, friend, did Rāma declare: I have deep knowledge of this Dhamma myself,

sacchikatvā upasampajja BJT, ChS reads: viharāmī ti pavedesī ti.07 pavedesī?” ti
having directly experienced and attained it?”

Evaṁ vutte, Rājakumāra,
When this was said, Prince,

Uddako Rāmaputto Nevasaññānāsaññāyatanaṁ pavedesi.
Uddaka Rāmaputta declared the Sphere of Neither-Perception-nor-Non-Perception. The very highest level in the thirty-one Realms of Existence. The way this is stated is odd in that we might have expected Uddaka to have claimed this for Rāma, but the way it is written it appears he claims it for himself.08

Tassa mayhaṁ, Rājakumāra, etad-ahosi:
Then, Prince, this occurred to me:

‘Na kho Rāmasseva ahosi saddhā, mayhaṁ patthi saddhā,
‘There was not faith for Rāma (alone), for me also there is faith,

na kho Rāmasseva ahosi viriyaṁ, mayhaṁ patthi viriyaṁ,
there was not energy for Rāma (alone), for me also there is energy,

na kho Rāmasseva ahosi sati, mayhaṁ patthi sati,
there was not mindfulness for Rāma (alone), for me also there is mindfulness,

na kho Rāmasseva ahosi samādhi, mayhaṁ patthi samādhi,
there was not concentration for Rāma (alone), for me also there is concentration,

na kho Rāmasseva ahosi paññā, mayhaṁ patthi paññā.
there was not wisdom for Rāma (alone), for me also there is wisdom.

Yaṁ nūnāhaṁ yaṁ Dhammaṁ Rāmo:
What if, in regard to the Dhamma that Rāma

Sayaṁ abhiññā, sacchikatvā upasampajja viharāmī, ti pavedesi,
declared: I have deep knowledge of it myself, I live, having directly experienced and attained it,

tassa Dhammassa sacchikiriyāya padaheyyan.’-ti
I were to strive to realise that Dhamma?’

So kho ahaṁ, Rājakumāra, na cirasseva
Then, Prince, in no long time,

khippam-eva taṁ Dhammaṁ, sayaṁ abhiññā,
soon having deep knowledge of that Dhamma myself,

sacchikatvā upasampajja vihāsiṁ.
I lived, having directly experienced and attained it.

Atha khvāhaṁ, Rājakumāra, yena Uddako Rāmaputto tenupasaṅkamiṁ, BJT: tenupasaṅkami.09
Then, Prince, I approached Uddaka Rāmaputta,

upasaṅkamitvā Uddakaṁ Rāmaputtaṁ etad-avocaṁ:
and after approaching, I said this to Uddaka Rāmaputta:

“Ettāvatā no, āvuso: Rāmo BJT, RTE: Rāma, thereby identifying Uddaka and Rāma.10 imaṁ Dhammaṁ sayaṁ abhiññā,
o “Is it in this way, friend, that Rāma declared: I have deep knowledge of this Dhamma myself,

sacchikatvā upasampajja pavedesī?” ti
having directly experienced and attained it?”

“Ettāvatā kho, āvuso: RTE: Ettāvatā kho ahaṁ āvuso; BJT: Ettāvatā kho Rāmo, āvuso.11 Rāmo imaṁ Dhammaṁ sayaṁ abhiññā,
o “In this way, friend, Rāma did declare he had deep knowledge of this Dhamma himself,

sacchikatvā upasampajja pavedesī.” ti BJT, RTE: pavedemī ti, first person, present tense.12
having directly experienced and attained it.”

“Aham-pi kho, āvuso, ettāvatā: Imaṁ Dhammaṁ sayaṁ abhiññā,
“In this way, friend, I also say: I have deep knowledge of this Dhamma myself,

sacchikatvā upasampajja viharāmī.” ti
I live, having directly experienced and attained it.”

“Lābhā no, āvuso, suladdhaṁ no, āvuso,
“It is a gain for us, friend, it is a great gain for us, friend,

ye mayaṁ āyasmantaṁ tādisaṁ sabrahmacāriṁ passāma.
that we see such a venerable with us in the spiritual life.

Iti yaṁ Dhammaṁ Rāmo sayaṁ abhiññā,
o Thus Rāma declared he had deep knowledge of this Dhamma himself,

sacchikatvā upasampajja pavedesi, RTE: pavedeti, present tense.13
having directly experienced and attained it,

taṁ tvaṁ Dhammaṁ sayaṁ abhiññā,
and you have deep knowledge of this Dhamma yourself,

sacchikatvā upasampajja viharasi. RTE: vihāsi, here and below.14
you live, having directly experienced and attained it.

Yaṁ tvaṁ Dhammaṁ sayaṁ abhiññā,
And that Dhamma you have deep knowledge of yourself,

sacchikatvā upasampajja viharasi,
you live, having directly experienced and attained it,

taṁ Dhammaṁ Rāmo sayaṁ abhiññā,
o that Rāma declared he had deep knowledge of that Dhamma himself,

sacchikatvā upasampajja pavedesi.
having directly experienced and attained it.

Iti yaṁ Dhammaṁ Rāmo aññāsi RTE, ChS: abhiññāsi, same meaning.15 taṁ tvaṁ Dhammaṁ jānāsi,
Thus the Dhamma Rāma knew is the Dhamma you know,

yaṁ tvaṁ Dhammaṁ jānāsi taṁ Dhammaṁ Rāmo aññāsi. ChS: abhiññāsi, same meaning.16
the Dhamma you know is the Dhamma Rāma knew.

Iti yādiso Rāmo ahosi tādiso tuvaṁ, yādiso tuvaṁ tādiso Rāmo ahosi.
Thus as Rāma was, so are you, as you are, so was Rāma.

Ehi dāni, āvuso, tuvaṁ imaṁ gaṇaṁ pariharā.” ti
Come now, friend, you will look after this group.”

Iti kho, Rājakumāra, Uddako Rāmaputto sabrahmacārī,
Thus my friend in the spiritual life, Uddaka Rāmaputta, Prince,

me samāno, ācariyaṭṭhāne BJT, PTS add ca; RTE adds va.17 maṁ ṭhapesi,
placed me in the teacher’s position,

uḷārāya ca maṁ RTE adds ca here.18 pūjāya pūjesi.
and worshipped me with the highest worship.

Tassa mayhaṁ, Rājakumāra, etad-ahosi:
Then, Prince, this occurred to me:

‘Nāyaṁ Dhammo nibbidāya na virāgāya na nirodhāya,
o ‘This Dhamma does not lead to disenchantment, or to dispassion, or to cessation,

na upasamāya na abhiññāya na Sambodhāya na BJT omits na upasamāya na abhiññāya na sambodhāya, by mistake, the same line is included above under Āḷāra’s story.19 Nibbānāya saṁvattati,
or to peace, or to deep knowledge, or to Complete Awakening, or to Nibbāna,

yāvad-eva Nevasaññānāsaññāyatanūpapattiyā.’ ti
but only as far as rebirth in the Sphere of Neither-Perception-nor-Non-Perception.’

So kho ahaṁ, Rājakumāra, taṁ Dhammaṁ analaṅkaritvā,
Then, Prince, having not found satisfaction in that Dhamma,

tasmā Dhammā nibbijja apakkamiṁ.
I was therefore disgusted with that Dhamma and went away.