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Sutta 1 | Majjhima Nikāya

Majjhima Nikāya
Sutta 1

1. Mūlapariyāya Sutta:
The Root of All Things

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Ukkattha, in the shade of a royal Sal tree in the Very Blessed Forest. There he addressed the monks, “Monks!”

“Yes, lord,” the monks responded to him.

The Blessed One said, “Monks, I will teach you the sequence of the root of all phenomena [or: the root sequence of all phenomena]. Listen & pay close attention. I will speak.”

“As you say, lord,” they responded to him.

The Blessed One said: “There is the case, monks, where an uninstructed run-of-the- mill person - who has no regard for noble ones, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma; who has no regard for people of integrity, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma - perceives earth as earth. Perceiving earth as earth, he supposes (things) about earth, he supposes (things) in earth, he supposes (things) coming out of earth, he supposes earth as ‘mine,’ he delights in earth. Why is that? Because he has not comprehended it, I tell you.

“He perceives water as water... fire as fire... wind as wind... beings as beings... devas as devas... Pajāpati as Pajāpati. Brahma as Brahma. the Radiant devas as Radiant devas. the Beautiful Black devas as Beautiful Black devas. the Sky-fruit devas as Sky-fruit devas. the Conqueror as the Conqueror. the dimension of the infinitude of space as the dimension of the infinitude of space. the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness as the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness. the dimension of nothingness as the dimension of nothingness. the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception as the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception. the seen as the seen. the heard as the heard. the sensed as the sensed. the cognized as the cognized. singleness as singleness. multiplicity as multiplicity. the All as the All.

“He perceives unbinding as unbinding.7 Perceiving unbinding as unbinding, he supposes things about unbinding, he supposes things in unbinding, he supposes things coming out of unbinding, he supposes unbinding as ‘mine,’ he delights in unbinding. Why is that? Because he has not comprehended it, I tell you.

The Trainee

“A monk who is a trainee - yearning for the unexcelled relief from bondage, his aspirations as yet unfulfilled - directly knows earth as earth. Directly knowing earth as earth, let him not suppose things about earth, let him not suppose things in earth, let him not suppose things coming out of earth, let him not suppose earth as ‘mine,’ let him not delight in earth. Why is that? So that he may comprehend it, I tell you.

“He directly knows water as water. fire as fire. wind as wind. beings as beings. devas as devas. Pajāpati as Pajāpati. Brahma as Brahma. the Radiant devas as Radiant devas. the Beautiful Black devas as Beautiful Black devas. the Sky- fruit devas as Sky-fruit devas. the Conqueror as the Conqueror. the dimension of the infinitude of space as the dimension of the infinitude of space. the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness as the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness. the dimension of nothingness as the dimension of nothingness. the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception as the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception. the seen as the seen. the heard as the heard. the sensed as the sensed. the cognized as the cognized. singleness as singleness. multiplicity as multiplicity. the All as the All.

“He directly knows unbinding as unbinding. Directly knowing unbinding as unbinding, let him not suppose things about unbinding, let him not suppose things in unbinding, let him not suppose things coming out of unbinding, let him not suppose unbinding as ‘mine,’ let him not delight in unbinding. Why is that? So that he may comprehend it, I tell you.

The Arahant

“A monk who is a Worthy One, devoid of effluents - who has attained completion, finished the task, laid down the burden, attained the true goal, destroyed the fetters of becoming, and is released through right knowledge - directly knows earth as earth. Directly knowing earth as earth, he doesn’t suppose things about earth, doesn’t suppose things in earth, doesn’t suppose things coming out of earth, doesn’t suppose earth as ‘mine,’ doesn’t delight in earth. Why is that? Because he has comprehended it, I tell you.

“He directly knows water as water. fire as fire. wind as wind. beings as beings. devas as devas. Pajāpati as Pajāpati. Brahma as Brahma. the Radiant devas as Radiant devas. the Beautiful Black devas as Beautiful Black devas. the Sky- fruit devas as Sky-fruit devas. the Conqueror as the Conqueror. the dimension of the infinitude of space as the dimension of the infinitude of space. the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness as the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness. the dimension of nothingness as the dimension of nothingness. the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception as the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception. the seen as the seen. the heard as the heard. the sensed as the sensed. the cognized as the cognized. singleness as singleness. multiplicity as multiplicity. the All as the All.

“He directly knows unbinding as unbinding. Directly knowing unbinding as unbinding, he doesn’t suppose things about unbinding, doesn’t suppose things in unbinding, doesn’t suppose things coming out of unbinding, doesn’t suppose unbinding as ‘mine,’ doesn’t delight in unbinding. Why is that? Because he has comprehended it, I tell you.

“A monk who is a Worthy One, devoid of effluents. directly knows earth as earth. Directly knowing earth as earth, he doesn’t suppose things about earth, doesn’t suppose things in earth, doesn’t suppose things coming out of earth, doesn’t suppose earth as ‘mine,’ doesn’t delight in earth. Why is that? Because, with the ending of passion, he is devoid of passion, I tell you.

“He directly knows water as water. the All as the All.

“He directly knows unbinding as unbinding. Directly knowing unbinding as unbinding, he doesn’t suppose things about unbinding, doesn’t suppose things in unbinding, doesn’t suppose things coming out of unbinding, doesn’t suppose unbinding as ‘mine,’ doesn’t delight in unbinding. Why is that? Because, with the ending of passion, he is devoid of passion, I tell you.

“A monk who is a Worthy One, devoid of effluents. directly knows earth as earth. Directly knowing earth as earth, he doesn’t suppose things about earth, doesn’t suppose things in earth, doesn’t suppose things coming out of earth, doesn’t suppose earth as ‘mine,’ doesn’t delight in earth. Why is that? Because, with the ending of aversion, he is devoid of aversion, I tell you.

“He directly knows water as water. the All as the All.

“He directly knows unbinding as unbinding. Directly knowing unbinding as unbinding, he doesn’t suppose things about unbinding, doesn’t suppose things in unbinding, doesn’t suppose things coming out of unbinding, doesn’t suppose unbinding as ‘mine,’ doesn’t delight in unbinding. Why is that? Because, with the ending of aversion, he is devoid of aversion, I tell you.

“A monk who is a Worthy One, devoid of effluents. directly knows earth as earth. Directly knowing earth as earth, he doesn’t suppose things about earth, doesn’t suppose things in earth, doesn’t suppose things coming out of earth, doesn’t suppose earth as ‘mine,’ doesn’t delight in earth. Why is that? Because, with the ending of delusion, he is devoid of delusion, I tell you.

“He directly knows water as water. the All as the All.

“He directly knows unbinding as unbinding. Directly knowing unbinding as unbinding, he doesn’t suppose things about unbinding, doesn’t suppose things in unbinding, doesn’t suppose things coming out of unbinding, doesn’t suppose unbinding as ‘mine,’ doesn’t delight in unbinding. Why is that? Because, with the ending of delusion, he is devoid of delusion, I tell you.

The Tathagata

“The Tathagata - a worthy one, rightly self-awakened - directly knows earth as earth. Directly knowing earth as earth, he doesn’t suppose things about earth, doesn’t suppose things in earth, doesn’t suppose things coming out of earth, doesn’t suppose earth as ‘mine,’ doesn’t delight in earth. Why is that? Because the Tathagata has comprehended it to the end, I tell you.

“He directly knows water as water. fire as fire. wind as wind. beings as beings. devas as devas. Pajāpati as Pajāpati. Brahma as Brahma. the Radiant devas as Radiant devas. the Beautiful Black devas as Beautiful Black devas. the Sky- fruit devas as Sky-fruit devas. the Conqueror as the Conqueror. the dimension of the infinitude of space as the dimension of the infinitude of space. the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness as the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness. the dimension of nothingness as the dimension of nothingness. the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception as the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception. the seen as the seen. the heard as the heard. the sensed as the sensed. the cognized as the cognized. singleness as singleness. multiplicity as multiplicity. the All as the All.

“He directly knows unbinding as unbinding. Directly knowing unbinding as unbinding, he doesn’t suppose things about unbinding, doesn’t suppose things in unbinding, doesn’t suppose things coming out of unbinding, doesn’t suppose unbinding as ‘mine,’ doesn’t delight in unbinding. Why is that? Because the Tathagata has comprehended it to the end, I tell you.

“The Tathagata - a worthy one, rightly self-awakened - directly knows earth as earth. Directly knowing earth as earth, he doesn’t suppose things about earth, doesn’t suppose things in earth, doesn’t suppose things coming out of earth, doesn’t suppose earth as ‘mine,’ doesn’t delight in earth. Why is that? Because he has known that delight is the root of suffering & stress, that from coming-into-being there is birth, and that for what has come into being there is aging & death. Therefore, with the total ending, fading away, cessation, letting go, relinquishment of craving, the Tathagata has totally awakened to the unexcelled right self-awakening, I tell you.

“He directly knows water as water. the All as the All.

“He directly knows unbinding as unbinding. Directly knowing unbinding as unbinding, he doesn’t suppose things about unbinding, doesn’t suppose things in unbinding, doesn’t suppose things coming out of unbinding, doesn’t suppose unbinding as ‘mine,’ doesn’t delight in unbinding. Why is that? Because he has known that delight is the root of suffering & stress, that from coming-into-being there is birth, and that for what has come into being there is aging & death. Therefore, with the total ending, fading away, cessation, letting go, relinquishment of craving, the Tathagata has totally awakened to the unexcelled right self-awakening, I tell you.”

That is what the Blessed One said. Displeased, the monks did not delight in the Blessed One’s words.