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Buddhist Monks and Nuns from the Buddha's time till now

Part 1 - Discourse On Setting In Motion The Wheel Of Dhamma

Thus have I heard. At one time the Exalted One was staying at Benares in the Deer Park at Isipatana (the Resort of Seers). There he addressed the Bhikkhus of the group of five: -

Bhikkhus, these two extremes ought not to be cultivated by one gone forth to homelessness. What are the two? There is devotion to indulgence of pleasure in the objects of sensual desire, which is inferior, low, vulgar, ignoble, and leads to no good; and there is devotion to self torment, which is painful, ignoble, and leads to no good.

The middle way discovered by a Perfect One avoids both these extremes: it gives vision, it gives knowledge, and it leads to peace, to direct acquaintance, to discovery, to Nibbana. And what is that middle way? It is simply the noble eightfold path, that is to say, right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. That is the middle way discovered by a Perfect One, which gives vision, which gives knowledge, and which leads to peace, to direct acquaintance, to discovery, to Nibbana.

Suffering,[1] as a noble truth, is this: Birth is suffering, ageing is suffering, sickness is suffering, death is suffering, sorrow and lamentation, pain, grief and despair are suffering, association with the loathed is suffering, dissociation from the loved is suffering, not to get what one wants is suffering - in short, suffering is the five grasped at groups.

The origin of suffering, as a noble truth, is this: It is the craving that produces renewal of being, accompanied by enjoyment and lust, and enjoying this and that; in other words, craving for sensual desire, craving for being, craving for non being.

Cessation of suffering, as a noble truth, is this: It is remainder less fading and ceasing, giving up, relinquishing, letting go and rejecting, of that same craving.

The way leading to cessation of suffering, as a noble truth, is this: It is simply the noble Eightfold path, that is to hay, right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort right mindfulness, right concentration.

"Suffering, as a noble truth, is this": such was the vision, the knowledge, the understanding, the finding, the light, that arose in regard to dhammas not heard by me before. "This suffering, as a noble truth, can be diagnosed": such was the vision, the knowledge, the understanding, the finding, the light, that arose in regard to dhammas not heard by me before. "This suffering, as a noble truth, has been diagnosed": such was the vision, the knowledge, the understanding, the finding, the light, that arose in regard to dhammas not heard by me before.

"The origin of sufferings, as a noble truth, is this:" such was the vision … "This origin of suffering, as a noble truth, can be abandoned": such was the vision … "This origin of suffering as a noble truth, has been abandoned": such was the vision … "This cessation of suffering as a noble truth, can be verified": such was the vision … "This cessation of suffering, as a noble truth, has been verified": such was the vision … in regard to dhammas not heard by me before.

"The way leading to cessation of suffering as a noble truth, is this": such was the vision … "This way leading to cessation of suffering, as a noble truth, can be developed": such was the vision … "This way leading to cessation of suffering as a noble truth, has been developed": such was the vision, the knowledge, the understanding, the finding, the light, that arose in regard to dhammas not heard by me before.

As long, Bhikkhus, as my knowledge and insight according to reality was not quite purified in these twelve aspects - in these three phases of each of the four noble truths - I did not claim to have discovered the full awakening that is supreme in the world with its gods, its angels of death and high divinity, in this generation with its monks and divines, with its princes and men. But as soon as my knowledge and insight according to reality was quite purified in these twelve aspects - in these three phases of each of the four noble truths - then I claimed to have discovered the full awakening that is supreme in the world with its gods, its angels of death and high divinity, in this generation with its monks and divines, with its princes and men. Knowing and seeing arose in me thus: My heart"s deliverance is unassailable. This is the last birth. Now there is no renewal of being.

Thus spoke the Lord. Delighted, the Bhikkhus of the group of five rejoiced in the Exalted One"s words.

Now during this utterance, there arose in the venerable Kondanna the spotless, immaculate vision of the Dhamma: Whatever is subject to arising, all that is subject to cessation.

When the Wheel of Dhamma had thus been set rolling by the Exalted One the earth gods raised the cry: "At Benares, in the Deer Park at Isipatana, the incomparable wheel of Dhamma has been set rolling by the Exalted One, not to be stopped by monk or divine or god or death angel or high divinity or anyone in the world".

On hearing the earth gods" cry, all the gods in turn in the six paradises of the sensual sphere took up the cry till it reached beyond the Retinue of High Divinity in the sphere of pure form. And so indeed in that hour, at the moment, the cry soared up to the World Of High Divinity, and this ten thousand fold world element shook and rocked and quaked, and a great, measureless radiance surpassing the very nature of the gods was displayed in the world.

Then the Exalted On uttered the exclamation: „Truly Kondanna knows! Indeed Kondanna knows!“ and that is how that venerable one acquired the name, Anna Kondanna - Kondanna who knows.

(Related Collection, LV1, II. Based on the translation by Nanamoli Thera. See Wheel 17, B.P.S.)

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- Footnotes:

1.

This is dukkha, as used in the body of the book.

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