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"Monks, there are these two kinds of search: the noble search and the ignoble search. And what is the ignoble search? Here someone being himself subject to birth seeks what is also subject to birth; being himself subject to aging, he seeks what is also subject to aging; being himself subject to sickness, he seeks what is also subject to sickness; being himself subject to death, he seeks what is also subject to death; being himself subject to sorrow, he seeks what is also subject to sorrow; being himself subject to defilement, he seeks what is also subject to defilement.
"And what may be said to be subject to birth, aging, sickness, and death; to sorrow and defilement? Wife and children, men and women slaves, goats and sheep, fowl and pigs, elephants, cattle, horses, and mares, gold and silver: these acquisitions are subject to birth, aging, sickness, and death; to sorrow and defilement; and one who is tied to these things, infatuated with them, and utterly absorbed in them, being himself subject to birth ... to sorrow and defilement, seeks what it also subject to birth ... to sorrow and defilement.
"And what is the noble search? Here someone being himself subject to birth, having understood the danger in what is subject to birth, seeks the unborn supreme security from bondage, Nibbana; being himself subject to aging, having understood the danger in what is subject to aging, he seeks the unaging supreme security from bondage, Nibbana; being himself subject to sickness, having understood the danger in what is subject to sickness, he seeks the unailing supreme security from bondage, Nibbana; being himself subject to death, having understood the danger in what is subject to death, he seeks the deathless supreme security from bondage, Nibbana; being himself subject to sorrow, having understood the danger in what is subject to sorrow, he seeks the sorrowless supreme security from bondage, Nibbana; being himself subject to defilement, having understood the danger in what is subject to defilement, he seeks the undefiled supreme security from bondage, Nibbana. This is the noble search.
"Monks, before my enlightenment, while I was still only an unenlightened bodhisatta, I too, being myself subject to birth, sought what was also subject to birth; being myself subject to aging, sickness, death, sorrow, and defilement, I sought what was also subject to aging, sickness, death, sorrow, and defilement.
Then I considered thus: 'Why, being myself subject to birth, do I seek what is also subject to birth? Why, being myself subject to aging, sickness, death, sorrow, and defilement, do I seek what is also subject to aging, sickness, death, sorrow, and defilement? Suppose that, being myself subject to birth, having understood the danger in what is subject to birth, I seek the unborn supreme security from bondage, Nibbana. Suppose that, being myself subject to aging, sickness, death, sorrow, and defilement, having understood the danger in what is subject to aging, sickness, death, sorrow, and defilement, I seek the unaging, unailing, deathless, sorrow-less, and undefiled supreme security from bondage, Nibbana.'
"Later, while still young, a black-haired young man endowed with the blessing of youth, in the prime of life, though my mother and father wished otherwise and wept with tearful faces, I shaved off my hair and beard, put on the ochre robe, and went forth from the home life into homelessness.
"Having gone forth, monks, in search of what is wholesome, seeking the supreme state of sublime peace, I went to Alara Kalama and said to him: 'Friend Kalama, I want to lead the spiritual life in this Dhamma and Discipline.'
Alara Kalama replied: 'The venerable one may stay here.
This Dhamma is such that a wise man can soon enter upon and dwell in it, realizing for himself through direct knowledge his own teacher's doctrine.' I soon quickly learned that Dhamma.
As far as mere lip-reciting and rehearsal of his teaching went, I could speak with knowledge and assurance, and I claimed, T know and see'—and there were others who did likewise.
"I considered: 'It is not through mere faith alone that Alara Kalama declares: "By realizing it for myself with direct knowledge, I enter upon and dwell in this Dhamma." Certainly Alara Kalama dwells knowing and seeing this Dhamma.' Then I went to Alara Kalama and asked him: 'Friend Kalama, in what way do you declare that by realizing it for yourself with direct knowledge you enter upon and dwell in this Dhamma?' In reply he declared the base of nothingness.
"I considered: 'Not only Alara Kalama has faith, energy, mindfulness, concentration, and wisdom. I too have faith, energy, mindfulness, concentration, and wisdom. Suppose I endeavor to realize the Dhamma that Alara Kalama declares he enters upon and dwells in by realizing it for himself with direct knowledge?'
"I soon quickly entered upon and dwelled in that Dhamma by realizing it for myself with direct knowledge.
Then I went to Alara Kalama and asked him: 'Friend Kalama, is it in this way that you declare that you enter upon and dwell in this Dhamma by realizing it for yourself with direct knowledge?'—'That is the way, friend.'—'It is in this way, friend, that I also enter upon and dwell in this Dhamma by realizing it for myself with direct knowledge.'—'It is a gain for us, friend, it is a great gain for us that we have such a venerable one for our fellow monk. So the Dhamma that I declare I enter upon and dwell in by realizing it for myself with direct knowledge is the Dhamma that you enter upon and dwell in by realizing it for yourself with direct knowledge. And the Dhamma that you enter upon and dwell in by realizing it for yourself with direct knowledge is the Dhamma that I declare I enter upon and dwell in by realizing it for myself with direct knowledge. So you know the Dhamma that I know and I know the Dhamma that you know. As I am, so are you; as you are, so am I. Come, friend, let us now lead this community together.'
"Thus Alara Kalama, my teacher, placed me, his pupil, on an equal footing with himself and awarded me the highest honor. But it occurred to me: 'This Dhamma does not lead to disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to peace, to direct knowledge, to enlightenment, to Nibbana, but only to rebirth in the base of nothingness.' Not being satisfied with that Dhamma, disappointed with it, I left.
"Still in search, monks, of what is wholesome, seeking the supreme state of sublime peace, I went to Uddaka Ramaputta and said to him: 'Friend, I want to lead the spiritual life in this Dhamma and Discipline.'
Uddaka Ramaputta replied: 'The venerable one may stay here. This Dhamma is such that a wise man can soon enter upon and dwell in it, himself realizing through direct knowledge his own teacher's doctrine.'
I soon quickly learned that Dhamma.
As far as mere lip-reciting and rehearsal of his teaching went, I could speak with knowledge and assurance, and I claimed, T know and see'—and there were others who did likewise.
"I considered: 'It was not through mere faith alone that Rama declared: "By realizing it for myself with direct knowledge, I enter upon and dwell in this Dhamma."
Certainly Rama dwelled knowing and seeing this Dhamma.'
Then I went to Uddaka Ramaputta and asked him: 'Friend, in what way did Rama declare that by realizing it for himself with direct knowledge he entered upon and dwelled in this Dhamma?' In reply Uddaka Ramaputta declared the base of neither-perception-nor-nonperception.
"I considered: 'Not only Rama had faith, energy, mindfulness, concentration, and wisdom. I too have faith, energy, mindfulness concentration, and wisdom. Suppose I endeavor to realize the Dhamma that Rama declared he entered upon and dwelled in by realizing it for himself with direct knowledge.'
"I soon quickly entered upon and dwelled in that Dhamma by realizing it for myself with direct knowledge.
Then I went to Uddaka Ramaputta and asked him: 'Friend, was it in this way that Rama declared that he entered upon and dwelled in this Dhamma by realizing it for himself with direct knowledge?'—'That is the way, friend.'— 'It is in this way, friend, that I also enter upon and dwell in this Dhamma by realizing it for myself with direct knowledge.'—'It is a gain for us, friend, it is a great gain for us that we have such a venerable one for our fellow monk. So the Dhamma that Rama declared he entered upon and dwelled in by realizing it for himself with direct knowledge is the Dhamma that you enter upon and dwell in by realizing it for yourself with direct knowledge. And the Dhamma that you enter upon and dwell in by realizing it for yourself with direct knowledge is the Dhamma that Rama declared he entered upon and dwelled in by realizing it for himself with direct knowledge. So you know the Dhamma that Rama knew and Rama knew the Dhamma that you know. As Rama was, so are you; as you are, so was Rama. Come, friend, now lead this community.'
"Thus Uddaka Ramaputta, my fellow monk, placed me in the position of a teacher and accorded me the highest honor.
But it occurred to me: 'This Dhamma does not lead to disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to peace, to direct knowledge, to enlightenment, to Nibbana, but only to rebirth in the base of neither-perception-nor-nonperception.'
Not being satisfied with that Dhamma, disappointed with it, I left.
"Still in search, monks, of what is wholesome, seeking the supreme state of sublime peace, I wandered by stages through the Magadhan country until eventually I arrived at Uruvela near Senanigama. There I saw an agreeable piece of ground, a delightful grove with a clear-flowing river with pleasant, smooth banks and nearby a village for alms resort.
I considered: 'This is an agreeable piece of ground, this is a delightful grove with a clear-flowing river with pleasant, smooth banks and nearby a village for alms resort. This will serve for the striving of a clansman intent on striving.'
And I sat down there thinking: 'This will serve for striving.'
"Then, monks, being myself subject to birth, having understood the danger in what is subject to birth, seeking the unborn supreme security from bondage, Nibbana, I attained the unborn supreme security from bondage, Nibbana; being myself subject to aging, having understood the danger in what is subject to aging, seeking the unag-ing supreme security from bondage, Nibbana, I attained the unaging supreme security from bondage, Nibbana; being myself subject to sickness, having understood the danger in what is subject to sickness, seeking the unailing supreme security from bondage, Nibbana, I attained the unailing supreme security from bondage, Nibbana; being myself subject to death, having understood the danger in what is subject to death, seeking the deathless supreme security from bondage, Nibbana, I attained the deathless supreme security from bondage, Nibbana; being myself subject to sorrow, having understood the danger in what is subject to sorrow, seeking the sorrowless supreme security from bondage, Nibbana, I attained the sorrowless supreme security from bondage, Nibbana; being myself subject to defilement, having understood the danger in what is subject to defilement, seeking the undefiled supreme security from bondage, Nibbana, I attained the undefiled supreme security from bondage, Nibbana.
The knowledge and vision arose in me: 'My liberation is unshakable. This is my last birth. Now there is no more renewed existence.'"


(from MN 26: Ariyapariyesana Sutta; 1160-67)

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"I considered: 'This Dhamma that I have attained is profound, hard to see and hard to understand, peaceful and sublime, unattainable by mere reasoning, subtle, to be experienced by the wise. But this population delights in attachment, takes delight in attachment, rejoices in attachment. It is hard for such a population to see this truth, namely, specific conditionality, dependent origination. And it is hard to see this truth, namely, the stilling of all formations, the relinquishing of all acquisitions, the destruction of craving, dispassion, cessation, Nibbana. If I were to teach the Dhamma, others would not understand me, and that would be wearying and troublesome for me.'
Thereupon there came to me spontaneously these stanzas never heard before:
Enough with teaching the Dhamma that even I found hard to reach; For it will never be perceived by those who live in lust and hate.
Those dyed in lust, wrapped in darkness will never discern this abstruse Dhamma, which goes against the worldly stream, subtle, deep, and difficult to see.
Considering thus, my mind inclined to inaction rather than to teaching the Dhamma.
"Then, monks, the Brahma Sahampati knew with his mind the thought in my mind and he considered: 'The world will be lost, the world will perish, since the mind of the Tathagata, the Arahant, the Perfectly Enlightened One, inclines to inaction rather than to teaching the Dhamma.'
Then, just as quickly as a strong man might extend his flexed arm or flex his extended arm, the Brahma Sahampati vanished in the brahma world and appeared before me.
He arranged his upper robe on one shoulder, and extending his hands in reverential salutation toward me, said: 'Venerable sir, let the Blessed One teach the Dhamma, let the Sublime One teach the Dhamma. There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are perishing through not hearing the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.'
The Brahma Sahampati spoke thus, and then he said further:
'In Magadha there have appeared till now impure teachings devised by those still stained.
'Open the doors to the Deathless! Let them hear the Dhamma that the stainless one has found.
'Just as one who stands on a mountain peak
can see below the people all around,
so, O wise one, all-seeing sage,
ascend the palace of the Dhamma.
Let the sorrowless one survey this human breed,
engulfed in sorrow, overcome by birth and old age.
'Arise, victorious hero, caravan leader, Debtless one, and wander in the world. Let the Blessed One teach the Dhamma, There will be those who will understand.'
"Then I listened to the Brahma's pleading, and out of compassion for beings I surveyed the world with the eye of a Buddha.
Surveying the world with the eye of a Buddha, I saw beings with little dust in their eyes and with much dust in their eyes, with keen faculties and with dull faculties, with good qualities and with bad qualities, easy to teach and hard to teach, and some who dwelled seeing fear and blame in the other world.
Just as in a pond of blue or red or white lotuses, some lotuses that are born and grow in the water thrive immersed in the water without rising out of it, and some other lotuses that are born and grow in the water rest on the water's surface, and some other lotuses that are born and grow in the water rise out of the water and stand clear, unwetted by it; so too, surveying the world with the eye of a Buddha, I saw beings with little dust in their eyes and with much dust in their eyes, with keen faculties and with dull faculties, with good qualities and with bad qualities, easy to teach and hard to teach, and some who dwelled seeing fear and blame in the other world.
Then I replied to the Brahma Sahampati in stanzas:
'Open for them are the doors to the Deathless, Let those with ears now show their faith. Thinking it would be troublesome, O Brahma, I did not speak the Dhamma subtle and sublime.'
"Then the Brahma Sahampati thought: The Blessed One has consented to my request that he teach the Dhamma.' And after paying homage to me, keeping me on the right, he thereupon departed at once.
"I considered thus: 'To whom should I first teach the Dhamma? Who will understand this Dhamma quickly?'
It then occurred to me: 'Alara Kalama is wise, intelligent, and discerning; he has long had little dust in his eyes. Suppose I taught the Dhamma first to Alara Kalama. He will understand it quickly.'
Then deities approached me and said: 'Venerable sir, Alara Kalama died seven days ago.'
And the knowledge and vision arose in me: 'Alara Kalama died seven days ago.' I thought: 'Alara Kalama's loss is a great one. If he had heard this Dhamma, he would have understood it quickly'
"I considered thus: 'To whom should I first teach the Dhamma? Who will understand this Dhamma quickly?'
It then occurred to me: 'Uddaka Ramaputta is wise, intelligent, and discerning; he has long had little dust in his eyes. Suppose I taught the Dhamma first to Uddaka Ramaputta. He will understand it quickly.'
Then deities approached me and said: 'Venerable sir, Uddaka Ramaputta died last night.'
And the knowledge and vision arose in me: 'Uddaka Ramaputta died last night.' I thought: 'Uddaka Ramaputta's loss is a great one. If he had heard this Dhamma, he would have understood it quickly'
"I considered thus: 'To whom should I first teach the Dhamma? Who will understand this Dhamma quickly?' It then occurred to me: 'The monks of the group of five who attended upon me while I was engaged in my striving were very helpful. Suppose I taught the Dhamma first to them.'
Then I thought: 'Where are the monks of the group of five now living?'
And with the divine eye, which is purified and surpasses the human, I saw that they were living at Baranasi in the Deer Park at Isipatana.
"Then, monks, when I had stayed at Uruvela as long as I chose, I set out to wander by stages to Baranasi.
Between Gaya and the Bodhi, the Ajivaka Upaka saw me on the road and said: 'Friend, your faculties are clear, the color of your skin is pure and bright. Under whom have you gone forth, friend? Who is your teacher? Whose Dhamma do you profess?'
I replied to the Ajivaka Upaka in stanzas:
'I am one who has transcended all, a knower of all, unsullied among all things, renouncing all, by craving's ceasing freed. Having known this all for myself, to whom should I point as teacher?
I have no teacher, and one like me exists nowhere in all the world With all its devas, because I have no person for my counterpart.
For I am the arahant in the world, I am the teacher supreme. I alone am a Perfectly Enlightened One whose fires are quenched and extinguished.
I go now to the city of Kasi to set in motion the wheel of Dhamma. In a world that has become blind I go to beat the drum of the Deathless.'
'By your claims, friend, you ought to be the universal victor.'
'The victors are those like me who have won the destruction of taints. I have vanquished all evil states, Therefore, Upaka, I am a victor.'
"When this was said, the Ajivaka Upaka said: 'May it be so, friend.'
Shaking his head, he took a bypath and departed.
"Then, monks, wandering by stages, I eventually came to Baranasi, to the Deer Park at Isipatana, and I approached the monks of the group of five.
The monks saw me coming in the distance, and they greed among themselves thus: 'Friends, here comes the ascetic Gotama who lives luxuriously, who gave up his striving and reverted to luxury. We should not pay homage to him or rise up for him or receive his bowl and outer robe. But a seat may be prepared for him. If he likes, he may sit down.'
However, as I approached, those monks round themselves unable to keep their pact. One came to meet me and took my bowl and outer robe, another prepared a seat, and another set out water for my feet; however, they addressed me by name and as 'friend.'
"Thereupon I told them: 'Monks, do not address the Tathagata by name and as "friend." The Tathagata is an Arahant, a Perfectly Enlightened One. Listen, monks, the Deathless has been attained. I shall instruct you, I shall teach you the Dhamma. Practicing as you are instructed, by realizing it for yourselves here and now through direct knowledge you will soon enter and dwell in that supreme goal of the holy life for the sake of which clansmen rightly go forth from the home life into homelessness.'
"When this was said, the monks of the group of five answered me thus: 'Friend Gotama, by the conduct, the practice, and the performance of austerities that you undertook, you did not achieve any superhuman distinction in knowledge and vision worthy of the noble ones. Since you now live luxuriously, having given up your striving and reverted to luxury, how could you have achieved any superhuman distinction in knowledge and vision worthy of the noble ones?'
When this was said, I told them: 'The Tathagata does not live luxuriously, nor has he given up his striving and reverted to luxury. The Tathagata is an Arahant, a Perfectly Enlightened One. Listen, monks, the Deathless has been attained ... from the home life into homelessness.'
"A second time the monks of the group of five said to me: 'Friend Gotama ... how could you have achieved any superhuman distinction in knowledge and vision worthy of the noble ones?'
A second time I told them: 'The Tathagata does not live luxuriously ... from the home life into homelessness.'
A third time the monks of the group of five said to me: 'Friend Gotama ... how could you have achieved any superhuman distinction in knowledge and vision worthy of the noble ones?'
"When this was said I asked them: 'Monks, have you ever known me to speak like this before?'—'No, venerable sir.'—'Monks, the Tathagata is an Arahant, a Perfectly Enlightened One. Listen, monks, the Deathless has been attained. I shall instruct you, I shall teach you the Dhamma. Practicing as you are instructed, by realizing it for yourselves here and now through direct knowledge, you will soon enter and dwell in that supreme goal of the holy life for the sake of which clansmen rightly go forth from the home life into homelessness.'
"I was able to convince the monks of the group of five. Then I sometimes instructed two monks while the other three went for alms, and the six of us lived on what those three monks brought back from their almsround. Sometimes I instructed three monks while the other two went for alms, and the six of us lived on what those two monks brought back from their almsround.
"Then the monks of the group of five, thus taught and instructed by me, being themselves subject to birth, having understood the danger in what is subject to birth, seeking the unborn supreme security from bondage, Nibbana, attained the unborn supreme security from bondage, Nibbana; being themselves subject to aging, sickness, death, sorrow, and defilement, having understood the danger in what is subject to aging, sickness, death, sorrow, and defilement, seeking the unaging, unailing, deathless, sorrowless, and undefiled supreme security from bondage, Nibbana, they attained the unaging, unailing, deathless, sorrowless, and undefiled supreme security from bondage, Nibbana. The knowledge and vision arose in them: 'Our liberation is unshakable; this is our last birth; now there is no more renewed existence.'"

(from MN 26: Ariyapariyesana Sutta; 1167-73)

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[Saccaka asked the Blessed One:] "Has there never arisen in Master Gotama a feeling so pleasant that it could invade his mind and remain? Has there never arisen in Master Gotama a feeling so painful that it could invade his mind and remain?"
"Why not, Aggivessana? Here, Aggivessana, before my enlightenment, while I was still only an unenlightened bodhisatta, I thought: 'Household life is crowded and dusty; life gone forth is wide open. It is not easy, while living in a home, to lead the holy life utterly perfect and pure as a polished shell. Suppose I shave off my hair and beard, put on the ochre robe, and go forth from the home life into homelessness
"Later, while still young, a black-haired young man endowed with the blessing of youth, in the prime of life ... [as in Text 11,3(1) §§14-17] ... And I sat down there thinking: This will serve for striving.'
"Now these three similes occurred to me spontaneously, never heard before. Suppose there were a wet sappy piece of wood lying in water, and a man came with an upper fire-stick, thinking: I shall light a fire, I shall produce heat.' What do you think, Aggivessana? Could the man light a fire and produce heat by taking the upper fire-stick and rubbing it against the wet sappy piece of wood lying in the water?"
"No, Master Gotama. Why not? Because it is a wet sappy piece of wood, and it is lying in water. Eventually the man would reap only weariness and disappointment."
"So too, Aggivessana, as to those ascetics and brahmins who still do not live bodily withdrawn from sensual pleasures, and whose sensual desire, affection, infatuation, thirst, and fever for sensual pleasures has not been fully abandoned and suppressed internally, even if those good ascetics and brahmins feel painful, racking, piercing feelings due to exertion, they are incapable of knowledge and vision and supreme enlightenment; and even if those good ascetics and brahmins do not feel painful, racking, piercing feelings due to exertion, they are incapable of knowledge and vision and supreme enlightenment. This was the first simile that occurred to me spontaneously, never heard before.
"Again, Aggivessana, a second simile occurred to me spontaneously, never heard before. Suppose there were a wet sappy piece of wood lying on dry land far from water, and a man came with an upper fire-stick, thinking: I shall light a fire, I shall produce heat.' What do you think, Aggivessana? Could the man light a fire and produce heat by taking the upper fire-stick and rubbing it against the wet sappy piece of wood lying on dry land far from water?"
"No, Master Gotama. Why not? Because it is a wet sappy piece of wood, even though it is lying on dry land far from water. Eventually the man would reap only weariness and disappointment."
"So too, Aggivessana, as to those ascetics and brahmins who live bodily withdrawn from sensual pleasures, but whose sensual desire, affection, infatuation, thirst, and fever for sensual pleasures has not been fully abandoned and suppressed internally, even if those good ascetics and brahmins feel painful, racking, piercing feelings due to exertion, they are incapable of knowledge and vision and supreme enlightenment; and even if those good ascetics and brahmins do not feel painful, racking, piercing feelings due to exertion, they are incapable of knowledge and vision and supreme enlightenment. This was the second simile that occurred to me spontaneously, never heard before.
"Again, Aggivessana, a third simile occurred to me spontaneously, never heard before. Suppose there were a dry sapless piece of wood lying on dry land far from water, and a man came with an upper fire-stick, thinking: I shall light a fire, I shall produce heat.' What do you think, Aggivessana? Could the man light a fire and produce heat by rubbing it against the dry sapless piece of wood lying on dry land far from water?"
"Yes, Master Gotama. Why so? Because it is a dry sapless piece of wood, and it is lying on dry land far from water."
"So too, Aggivessana, as to those ascetics and brahmins who live bodily withdrawn from sensual pleasures, and whose sensual desire, affection, infatuation, thirst, and fever for sensual pleasures has been fully abandoned and suppressed internally, even if those good ascetics and brahmins feel painful, racking, piercing feelings due to exertion, they are capable of knowledge and vision and supreme enlightenment; and even if those good ascetics and brahmins do not feel painful, racking, piercing feelings due to exertion, they are capable of knowledge and vision and supreme enlightenment. This was the third simile that occurred to me spontaneously, never heard before. These are the three similes that occurred to me spontaneously, never heard before.
"I thought: 'Suppose, with my teeth clenched and my tongue pressed against the roof of my mouth, I beat down, constrain, and crush mind with mind.' So, with my teeth clenched and my tongue pressed against the roof of my mouth, I beat down, constrained, and crushed mind with mind. While I did so, sweat ran from my armpits. Just as a strong man might seize a weaker man by the head or shoulders and beat him down, constrain him, and crush him, so too, with my teeth clenched and my tongue pressed against the roof of my mouth, beat down, constrained, and crushed mind with mind, and sweat ran from my armpits. But although tireless energy was aroused in me and unremitting mindfulness was established, my body was overwrought and strained because I was exhausted by the painful striving. But such Painful feeling that arose in me did not invade my mind and remain
"I thought: 'Suppose I practice the breathless meditation.' So I stopped the in-breaths and out-breaths through my mouth and nose. While I did so, there was a loud sound of winds coming out from my ear holes. Just as there is a loud sound when a smith's bellows are blown, so too, while I stopped the in-breaths and out-breaths through my nose and ears, there was a loud sound of winds coming out from my ear holes. But although tireless energy was aroused in me and unremitting mindfulness was established, my body was overwrought and strained because I was exhausted by the painful striving. But such painful feeling that arose in me did not invade my mind and remain.
"I thought: 'Suppose I practice further the breathless meditation.' So I stopped the in-breaths and out-breaths through my mouth, nose, and ears. While I did so, violent winds cut through my head. Just as if a strong man were pressing against my head with the tip of a sharp sword, so too, while I stopped the in-breaths and out-breaths through my mouth, nose, and ears, violent winds cut through my head. But although tireless energy was aroused in me and unremitting mindfulness was established, my body was overwrought and strained because I was exhausted by the painful striving. But such painful feeling that arose in me did not invade my mind and remain.
"I thought: 'Suppose I practice further the breathless meditation.' So I stopped the in-breaths and out-breaths through my mouth, nose, and ears. While I did so, there were violent pains in my head. Just as if a strong man were tightening a tough leather strap around my head as a headband, so too, while I stopped the in-breaths and out-breaths through my mouth, nose, and ears, there were violent pains in my head. But although tireless energy was aroused in me and unremitting mindfulness was established, my body was overwrought and strained because I was exhausted by the painful striving. But such painful feeling that arose in me did not invade my mind and remain.
"I thought: 'Suppose I practice further the breathless meditation.' So I stopped the in-breaths and out-breaths through my mouth, nose, and ears. While I did so, violent winds carved up my belly. Just as if a skilled butcher or his apprentice were to carve up an ox's belly with a sharp butcher's knife, so too, while I stopped the in-breaths and out-breaths through my mouth, nose, and ears, violent winds carved up my belly. But although tireless energy was aroused in me and unremitting mindfulness was established, my body was overwrought and strained because I was exhausted by the painful striving. But such painful feeling that arose in me did not invade my mind and remain.
"I thought: 'Suppose I practice further the breathless meditation.' So I stopped the in-breaths and out-breaths through my mouth, nose, and ears. While I did so, there was a violent burning in my body. Just as if two strong men were to seize a weaker man by both arms and roast him over a pit of hot coals, so too, while I stopped the in-breaths and out-breaths through my mouth, nose, and ears, there was a violent burning in my body. But although tireless energy was aroused in me and unremitting mindfulness was established, my body was overwrought and strained because I was exhausted by the painful striving. But such painful feeling that arose in me did not invade my mind and remain.
"Now when deities saw me, some said: 'The ascetic Gotama is dead.' Other deities said: 'The ascetic Gotama is not dead, he is dying.' And other deities said: 'The ascetic Gotama is neither dead nor dying; he is an arahant, for such is the way arahants dwell.'
"I thought: 'Suppose I practice entirely cutting off food.' Then deities came to me and said: 'Good sir, do not practice entirely cutting off food. If you do so, we shall infuse heavenly food into the pores of your skin and this will sustain you.' I considered: 'If I claim to be completely fasting while these deities infuse heavenly food into the pores of my skin and this sustains me, then I shall be lying.' So I dismissed those deities, saying: 'There is no need.'
"I thought: 'Suppose I take very little food, a handful each time, whether of bean soup or lentil soup or vetch soup or pea soup.' So I took very little food, a handful each time, whether of bean soup or lentil soup or vetch soup or pea soup. While I did so, my body reached a state of extreme emaciation. Because of eating so little my limbs became like the jointed segments of vine stems or bamboo stems. Because of eating so little my backside became like a camel's hoof. Because of eating so little the projections on my spine stood forth like corded beads. Because of eating so little my ribs jutted out as gaunt as the crazy rafters of an old roofless barn. Because of eating so little the gleam of my eyes sank far down in their sockets, looking like the gleam of water that has sunk far down in a deep well. Because of eating so little my scalp shriveled and withered as a green bitter gourd shrivels and withers in the wind and sun. Because of eating so little my belly skin adhered to my backbone; thus if I touched my belly skin I encountered my backbone and if I touched my backbone I encountered my belly skin. Because of eating so little, if I defecated or urinated, I fell over on my face there. Because of eating so little, if I tried to ease my body by rubbing my limbs with my hands, the hair, rotted at its roots, fell from my body as I rubbed.
"Now when people saw me, some said: The ascetic Gotama is black.' Other people said: 'The ascetic Gotama is not black; he is brown.' Other people said: 'The ascetic Gotama is neither black nor brown; he is golden-skinned.' So much had the clear, bright color of my skin deteriorated through eating so little.
"I thought: 'Whatever ascetics or brahmins in the past have experienced painful, racking, piercing feelings due to exertion, this is the utmost; there is none beyond this. And whatever ascetics and brahmins in the future will experience painful, racking, piercing feelings due to exertion, this is the utmost; there is none beyond this. And whatever ascetics and brahmins at present experience painful, racking, piercing feelings due to exertion, this is the utmost; there is none beyond this. But by this racking practice of austerities I have not attained any superhuman distinction in knowledge and vision worthy of the noble ones. Could there be another path to enlightenment?'
"I considered: T recall that when my father the Sakyan was occupied, while I was sitting in the cool shade of a rose-apple tree, secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unwholesome states, I entered and dwelled in the first jhana, which is accompanied by thought and examination, with rapture and happiness born of seclusion. Could this be the path to enlightenment?' Then, following on that memory, came the realization: 'This is indeed the path to enlightenment.'
"I thought: 'Why am I afraid of that happiness that has nothing to do with sensual pleasures and unwholesome states?' I thought: T am not afraid of that happiness that has nothing to do with sensual pleasures and unwholesome states.'
"I considered: 'It is not easy to attain that happiness with a body so excessively emaciated. Suppose I ate some solid food—some boiled rice and porridge.' And I ate some solid food—some boiled rice and porridge. Now at that time five monks were waiting upon me, thinking: 'If our ascetic Gotama achieves some higher state, he will inform us.'
But when I ate the boiled rice and porridge, the five monks were
disgusted and left me, thinking: 'The ascetic Gotama now lives luxuriously; he has given up his striving and reverted to luxury.'
"Now when I had eaten solid food and regained my strength, then secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unwholesome states, I entered and dwelled in the first jhana, which is accompanied by thought and examination, with rapture and happiness born of seclusion. But such pleasant feeling that arose in me did not invade my mind and remain.
"With the subsiding of thought and examination, I entered and dwelled in the second jhana, which has internal confidence and unification of mind, is without thought and examination, and has rapture and happiness born of concentration. But such pleasant feeling that arose in me did not invade my mind and remain.
"With the fading away as well of rapture, I dwelled equanimous, and mindful and clearly comprehending, I experienced happiness with the body; I entered and dwelled in the third jhana of which the noble ones declare: 'He is equanimous, mindful, one who dwells happily.' But such pleasant feeling that arose in me did not invade my mind and remain.
"With the abandoning of pleasure and pain, and with the previous passing away of joy and displeasure, I entered and dwelled in the fourth jhana, which is neither painful nor pleasant and includes the purification of mindfulness by equanimity. But such pleasant feeling that arose in me did not invade my mind and remain.
"When my mind was thus concentrated, purified, bright, unblemished, rid of imperfection, malleable, wieldy, steady, and attained to imperturbability, I directed it to knowledge of the recollection of past lives. I recollected my manifold past lives, that is, one birth, two births, three births, four births, five births, ten births, twenty births, thirty births, forty births, fifty births, a hundred births, a thousand births, a hundred thousand births, many eons of world-contraction, many eons of world-expansion, many eons of world-contraction and expansion: 'There I was so named, of such a clan, with such an appearance, such was my nutriment, such my experience of pleasure and pain, such my lifespan; and passing away from there, I was reborn elsewhere; and there too I was so named, of such a clan, with such an appearance, such was my nutriment, such my experience of pleasure and pain, such my lifespan; and passing away from there, I was reborn here.' Thus with their aspects and particulars I recollected my manifold past lives.
"This was the first true knowledge attained by me in the first watch of the night. Ignorance was banished and true knowledge arose, darkness was banished and light arose, as happens in one who dwells diligent, ardent, and resolute. But such pleasant feeling that arose in me did not invade my mind and remain.
"When my mind was thus concentrated, purified, bright, unblemished, rid of imperfection, malleable, wieldy, steady, and attained to imperturbability, I directed it to knowledge of the passing away and rebirth of beings. With the divine eye, which is purified and surpasses the human, I saw beings passing away and being reborn, inferior and superior, beautiful and ugly, fortunate and unfortunate, and I understood how beings fare on according to their actions thus: 'These beings who behaved wrongly by body, speech, and mind, who reviled the noble ones, held wrong view, and undertook actions based on wrong view, with the breakup of the body, after death, have been reborn in a state of misery, in a bad destination, in the lower world, in hell; but these beings who behaved well by body, speech, and mind, who did not revile the noble ones, who held right view, and undertook action based on right view, with the breakup of the body, after death, have been reborn in a good destination, in a heavenly world.'
Thus with the divine eye, which is purified and surpasses the human, I saw beings passing away and being reborn, inferior and superior, beautiful and ugly, fortunate and unfortunate, and I understood how beings fare on according to their actions.
"This was the second true knowledge attained by me in the middle watch of the night. Ignorance was banished and true knowledge arose, darkness was banished and light arose, as happens in one who dwells diligent, ardent, and resolute. But such pleasant feeling that arose in me did not invade my mind and remain.
"When my mind was thus concentrated, purified, bright, unblemished, rid of imperfection, malleable, wieldy, steady, and attained to imperturbability, I directed it to knowledge of the destruction of the taints. I directly knew as it actually is: 'This is suffering. This is the origin of suffering. This is the cessation of suffering. This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering.' I directly knew as it actually is: 'These are the taints. This is the origin of the taints. This is the cessation of the taints. This is the way leading to the cessation of the taints.'
"When I knew and saw thus, my mind was liberated from the taint of sensual desire, from the taint of existence, and from the taint of ignorance. When it was liberated, there came the knowledge: 'It is liberated.' I directly knew: 'Birth is destroyed, the spiritual life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no more coming back to any state of being.'
"This was the third true knowledge attained by me in the last watch of the night. Ignorance was banished and true knowledge arose, darkness was banished and light arose, as happens in one who dwells diligent, ardent, and resolute. But such pleasant feeling that arose in me did not invade my mind and remain."
(from MN 36: Mahasaccaka Sutta; 1240-49)

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I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Gayā at Gayā Head. And on that occasion, many ascetics — on the cold winter nights of the "Between-the-Eights," when the snow was falling in Gayā — jumped up in the water, jumped down in the water, did a jumping-up-&-down in the water, poured (water over themselves), and performed the fire sacrifice, (thinking,) "Through this there is purity."
The Blessed One saw those many ascetics — on the cold winter nights of the "Between-the-Eights," when the snow was falling in Gayā — jumping up in the water, jumping down in the water, doing a jumping-up-&-down in the water, pouring (water over themselves), and performing the fire sacrifice, (thinking,) "Through this there is purity."
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:

Not by water is one clean,
though many people are bathing here.
Whoever has truth &
rectitude: 'He's' a clean one; 'he', a brahman."

~ 'Jaṭila Sutta: Ascetics; UD 1.9

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' Prajnaparamita '

Subhuti asked the Buddha: "The highest, most awakened mind that you have attained is that mind the unattainable?"

"Yes, Subhuti. With regard to that highest and most awakened mind, I have not attained anything. That mind is everywhere equally. it cannot be attained or grasped, but it can be realized. It is realized through the practice of all good actions when they are done in the spirit of no self and no object of self."

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Blissful is detachment for one who is content, For one who has learned the law of nature and who sees;
Blissful is non-affliction in the world, Restraint towards living creatures;
Blissful is passionlessness in the world, The overcoming of sensual desires;
But the abolition of the conceit
"I am" —That is truly the supreme bliss.

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All those who clearly understand the fact that enlightenment is everywhere come to the perfect wisdom with a marvelous insight that all objects and structures, just as they are in the present moment, are themselves enlightenment, both the way and the goal, being perfectly transparent to the ineffable. Those who experience the ineffable, known as Suchness, recognize that all structures are radiantly empty of self-existence.

Those who attain perfect wisdom are forever inspired by the conviction that the infinitely varied forms of this world, in all their relativity, far from being a hindrance and a dangerous distraction to the spiritual path, are really a healing medicine. Why? Because by the very fact that they are interdependent on each other and therefore have no separate self, they express the mystery and the energy of all-embracing love. Not just the illumined wise ones but every single being in the interconnected world is a dweller in the boundless infinity of love.

( Prajnaparamita )

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Ananda said to the Buddha: "I think there has never been a teacher as great as you, nor will there ever be one as great in the future."

The Buddha asked: " Have you known all the awakened ones, the Buddhas of the past ?"
"No, Honored One."
"And are you able to know all the Buddhas of the future?"
"No, Honored One"
"Then I suppose you do know this awakened one's mind completely?"
"No, Honored One, I do not even know your mind completely."
"Then how can you make such a bold statement? It is better to talk of what you know than to speculate foolishly."

( Majjhima Nikaya )

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Arouse your will, supreme and great,
Practice love, give joy and protection;
Let your giving be like space,
Without discrimination or limitation.

Do good things, not for your own sake
But for all the beings in the universe;
Save and make free everyone you encounter,
Help them attain the wisdom of the way.

( Prajnaparamita )

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Rohitassa asked: "Is there anywhere, while one is continuing on the path, where one can find a place where there is no birth, no aging, no decaying, no ending, and no rising again in rebirth? Is there anywhere along the way where one can see the end or reach the end of existence?"

"No, my friend," replied the Buddha, "there is nowhere of that nature. When you are following the path, you can't know the end or see the end or reach the end of existence. But, nevertheless, you can end your trouble and woe - indeed, you can end it here and now. For in this very body, six feet in length, with all its sense impressions and its thoughts and ideas, here I declare to you is the world and the origin of the world and the ending of the world and also the way that leads to that ending.

Not to be reached by travelling is the end of the world,
Yet there is no release from sorrow
Unless you reach the end of the world.
The one who is wise and lives a loving life
Begins to know the world. That one will go to the world's end.
And then he will neither long for this world
Nor for any world."

( Anguttara Nikaya )

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In the gloom and darkness of the night, when there is a sudden flash of light, a person will recognize objects; in the same way, the one with a flash of insight sees according to reality - "This is how sorrow works; this is how it arises; this is how it can come to an end; this is the path leading to that end.

( Anguttara Nikaya )

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Subhuti asked : "How can the practitioner who wishes to help all beings find enlightenment awaken to the complete and perfect wisdom?"

The Buddha said: "This most subtle awakening comes about through moment-to-moment attentiveness. By way of attentiveness, there is attunment to the ways in which things manifest, such as form and consciousness. The practitioner awakens to perfect wisdom by becoming blissfully free from obsessions with habits, names, sense experiences, personal feelings, and with dread of dying and all the despair that goes with it.

"Free to experience all the rising of manifestation and its interdependent functioning without believing it to be the final reality, the practitioner avoids two fundamental errors - that this relative world is rooted on any solid foundation, and the opposite error that the manifest forms we see are mere illusions without proper physical and moral implications for every single mind-flow."

( Prajnaparamita )

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For the one who has no inner, angry thoughts,
Who has gone past being a someone, a this or a that,
That one is free from fear and is blissful.
Even the gods cannot win such serenity.

( Udana Sutta )

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One of his followers urged the Buddha to perform a miracle in order to attract some nonbelievers. The Buddha replied:

" I detest and will not undertake the so-called miracles of magic power and divination. I and my followers attract nonbelievers only the miracle of Truth. "

( Digha Nikaya )

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The wanderer Bhaggava accused the Buddha of saying that the universe was caused merely by chance. The Buddha replied:

"I have heard others of your sect, Bhaggava, say that when I awoke and found the Truth, which was beautiful, I remained in that bliss and then regarded the universe as ugly and meaningless in comparison.

But I never taught that, Bhaggava. This is what I do say: 'Whenever one awakes and finds the beautiful, then one knows indeed what beauty is.' "

( Majjhima Nikaya )

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' Śūraṅgama Sūtra '


"The Buddha then compounds his cousin's confusion by stating that there are fundamentally two kinds of mind:

1. First, the ordinary quotidian mind of which we are aware and which is entangled, lifetime after lifetime, in the snare of illusory perceptions and random thoughts;

2. And second, the everlasting true mind, which is our real nature, and which is the state of the Buddha."

" Ananda, what are the two fundamentals?

The first is the mind that is the basis of death and rebirth and that has continued for the entirety of time, which has no beginning. This mind is dependent upon perceived objects, and it is this that you and all beings make use of and that each of you consider to be your own nature.

The second fundamental is enlightenment, which has no beginning; it is the original and pure essence of nirvana. It is the original understanding, the real nature of consciousness. All conditioned phenomena arise from it, and yet it is among those phenomena that beings lose track of it. They have lost track of this fundamental understanding, though it is active in them all day long, and because they remain unaware of it, they make the mistake of entering the various destinies."

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Trivial thoughts, subtle thoughts,
Mental jerkings that follow one along:
Not understanding these mental thoughts,
One runs back and forth with wandering mind.

But having known these mental thoughts,
The ardent and mindful one restrains them.
An awakened one has entirely abandoned them,
These mental jerkings that follow one along.

- Meghiya Sutta (Udana 4.1)

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The noble path is the best of all paths, freedom from craving is the best state, and the one who has eyes to see is the happiest person.
The noble path is the way that leads to freedom from delusion, that leads to clarity.
The one who sees this path and follows it comes to the end of sorrow.
You yourself must make the effort; the awakened only point the way. Those who have entered the path and who meditate free themselves from the bonds of illusion.
Everything is changing. It arises and passes away.The one who realizes this is freed from sorrow. This is the shining path.
To exist is to know suffering. Realize this and be free from suffering. This is the radiant path.
There is no separate self to suffer. The one who understands this is free. This is the path of clarity.

- Dhammapada -

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In a gabled house the rafters all converge on the ridgepole , they are fixed on the ridgepole and join together there equally; in the same way, whatever wrong states of mind exist, they are all rooted in ignorance, fixed in ignorance and joined together tgere. Ignorance of good is the cause of wrongdoing. Therefore, you must live in mindfulness and train yourself in this.

- Samyutta Nikaya

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If the element of the truth seeker did not exist in everyone,
There would be no turning away from craving,
Nor could there be a longing for nirvana,
Nor a seeking for it, nor a resolve to find it.

- Visuddhi Magga

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Attentiveness is the path to true life;
Indifference is the path to death.
The attentive do not die;
The indifferent are as if they are dead already.

- Dhammapada

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A wandering monk called Vaccha asked the Buddha if the Buddha would still exist after death. The Buddha replied:

"Vaccha, the idea that I would exist or not exist after death- such ideas lead to dense jungles and arid deserts, to entanglements as though caught by thorns. They bring about anger, delusion, and argument and they do not bring about peace, knowledge, or wisdom leading to enlightenment. I do not take up any of these ideas."

"Then has the Buddha any belief of his own?"

"Vaccha, I have nothing to do with belief or theories, but declare what I know. I declare the nature of form, how it arises and how it perishes; the nature of perception, how it arises and how it perishes. And because I have completely abandoned all fantasies, false ideas, and imaginings about the nature of self or anything to do with the self, I am freed from self."

"But," asked Vaccha persistently, "when one who has attained this emancipation of mind dies, where does he go, where is he reborn?"

"The word 'reborn' does not fit the case."

"Then is he not reborn?"

"To say that he is not reborn does not fit the case either. Nor should you say that he is both reborn and not reborn or, indeed, that he is neither reborn nor not reborn."

"I am totally bewildered, Buddha, and my faith in you has gone."

"Never mind being bewildered. This is a deep and difficult doctrine to understand. Imagine there is a fire in front of you. You see it burning and know that it can only burn if it has fuel. And then you see that it has gone out. Now, somebody asks you, to which quarter has the fire gone - east, west, north or south? What do you say?"

"I would say that such a question does not fit the case, Buddha. For the fire depends on fuel, and when there is no more fuel, the fire is said to be out through lack of nourishment."

"In just the same way, Vaccha, the body in which one can see the truth will die out, like a fan palm, without any future. But that which is the truth, that which is existence itself, is there although it is deep and infinitely hard to understand. Like the great ocean, one cannot fathom it. And so it does not fit the case to say that I will be reborn or will not be reborn."

- Digha Nikaya

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One of the Buddha's monks, Purna, wanted to teach meditation to the Western Suner, a wild and dangerous people. The Buddha thought such an idea was overzealous but tested Purna.

"But, Purna, these are violent, cruel, and furious people. When they get angry and curse you, what will you think?"

"I shall think that they are basically kind and good although they address me with insults. And at least they don't beat me or stone me."

"But suppose they do beat you and hit you with stones, what will you think?"

"I shall think they are kind and good since at least they are not using clubs and swords."

"And if they do attack you with clubs and swords?"

"I shall still think they are kind and good for delivering me from this unfortunate body."

"Oh, very well, very well, Purna. With such perfect and saintly patience as all that you may certainly go and live among these violent people. Go, Purna - who knows, you may be able to deliver some and show them the way to freedom."

- Majjhima Nikaya

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Reality as it is becomes the right view of the meditator. Thinking of it as it is becomes the right thought. Awareness of it as it is becomes the right awareness. Concentration on it as it is becomes the right concentration. Actions of body and speech are then aligned to reality as it is. In this way the meditator develops and is fulfilled.

- Majjhima Nikaya

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The one who wishes to escape from doubt
Should be attentive and alert;
Looking at mind and body both,
He should see the causes and the origins.

- Patisambhida Magga

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One should not imagine oneself to be one with the eye or independent of it or the owner of it. The same with the ear and all the other sense, including the mind. Nor should one imagine oneself to be identical with the world or contained in it or independent of it or the owner of it.

In this way, free from imagining, one no longer clings to the things of the world. When one no longer clings, there is no more agitation, insecurity, and worry. Being no longer worried, one can reach into the depths of oneself and understand that where there has been loss there is now fulfillment.

- Samyutta Nikaya

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