MAJJHIMA NIKAAYA II
(51) To Kandaraka the Ascetic
I heard thus.
At one time the Blessed One lived in Champa on the bank of the pond Gaggaraa, with a
large Community of bhikkhus. Pessa, the elephant riders son and the ascetic
Kandaraka approached the Blessed One. Pessa the elephant riders son worshipped the
Blessed One and sat on a side, and Kandaraka the ascetic exchanged friendly greetings with
the Blessed One and stood on a side. He observed the large silent Community of bhikkhus
and said to the Blessed One. Good Gotama, it is surprising and wonderful, this training of
the Community of bhikkhus. Did rightfully enlightened ones in the past train their
Community of bhikkus, in this same manner? Would perfect rightfully enlightened ones in
the future train their Community of bhikkhus, in this same manner? Yes, Kandaraka, the
perfect rightfully enlightened ones in the past trained the Community of bhikkhus, in this
same manner. The Perfect rightfully enlightened ones in the future will train the
Community of bhikkhus in this same manner. Kandaraka, in this Community of bhikkhus, there
are ones who are perfect, with desires destroyed, the holy life lived and what should be
done, done. There are trainers in this Community of bhikkhus, become clever and appeased
through virtues and the mind well established in the fourfold ways of establishing
mindfulness. What four: Abiding mindful and aware, to dispel covetousness and displeasure
for the world by reflecting the body in the body. Abiding mindful and aware, to dispel
covetousness and displeasure for the world, by reflecting feelings in feelings. Abiding
mindful and aware, to dispel covetousness and displeasure for the world, by reflecting the
mental qualities in the mind, and abiding mindful and aware, to dispel covetousness and
displeasure for the world, by reflecting thoughts in the Teaching.
When this was said, Pessa, the elephant riders son said. Venerable sir, it is
wonderful, how wisely the Blessed One has shown the four establishments of mindfulness for
the purifiction of beings, for the overcoming of grief, and lament, and for dispelling
unpleasantness and displeasure for attaining knowledge and realising extinction. Venerable
sir, as a lay disciple wearing white clothes, from time to time I abide, in the four ways
of establishing mindfulness. I abide mindful and aware, to dispel covetousness and
displeasure for the world, by reflecting the body in the body. Abide mindful and aware, to
dispel covetousness and displeasure for the world, reflecting feelings in feelings. Abide
mindful and aware to dispel covetousness and displeasure for the world, reflecting the
mental states in the mind. Abide, mindful and aware to dispel covetousness and displeasure
for the world, reflecting the Teaching. Venerable sir, it is wonderful, you who live in
the grip of humans, tolerating their blemishes, and craftinesses, know what is good for
humans and what is bad for humans. Venerable, sir, the human grip is strong, as for the
animals they live at ease..Venerable sir, I know the various ways in which the elephant is
usually trained in Champa, correcting all its craftinesses, fraudulent ways and deceitful
ways. As for us in body we behave as servants, messengers, workmen or anything else, by
words we are something else, and in mind we are not that. Venerable sir, it is wonderful,
you who live in the grip of humans, tolerating their blemishes, and craftinesses, know
what is good for humans and what is bad for humans. Venerable, sir, the human grip is
strong, as for the animals they live at ease. Yes, Pessa, the human grip is strong, and
the animals live at ease. Pessa, there are four persons evident in the world. What are the
four? Pessa, a certain person torments himself, yoked to tormenting himself. A certain
person torments others yoked to tormenting others. A certain person torments himself and
others yoked to tormenting all. A certain person does not torment himself, or others and
is not yoked to tormenting either Not tormenting himself, or others, is here and now
extinguished, cooled, and abides in pleasantness, become one like Brahma. Pessa, of these
four persons who is more pleasing to you?.
Venerable sir the person who torments his self, yoked to it, does not please me. The
person who torments others yoked to it, does not please me. The person who torments his
self and others yoked to tormenting his self and others does not please me. The person who
does not torment his self, or others, is not yoked to tormenting either is here and now
extinguished, cooled, and abides in pleasantness, become one like Brahma (*3). This person
pleases me. Pessa, why do these three persons not please you?. Venerable sir, this person
who torments his self, yoked to it, torments his self that desires pleasantness and
loathes unpleasantness. Therefore this person does not please me. This person that
torments others yoked to it, torments others desiring pleasantness and loathing
unpleasantness. Therefore this person does not please me. This person, that torments his
self and others yoked to tormenting his self and others, torments himself and others that
desire pleasantness and loathe unpleasantness. Therefore he does not please me. This
person who does not torment his self or others is not yoked to tormenting his self or
others is here and now extinguished, cooled, and abides in pleasantness, become one like
Brahma. This is the person who pleases me. Venerable sir, we have to go now, we have a lot
of work to do. Pessa, do what you think is fit. Then the elephant riders son Pessa
pleased and delighted with the words of the Blessed One got up from his seat, worshipped
and circumambulated the Blessed One and went away.
Soon after the elephant riders son had left. The Blessed One addressed the
bhikkhus: Bhikkhus, if the elephant riders son had waited some more time until I
explained these four persons, he would have amassed, much knowledge. O! Blessed One, this
is the time to explain these four persons. The bhikkhus, hearing it from the Blessed One
would bear it in mind. Bhikkhus, listen carefully, I will tell..
Bhikkhus, who torments his self, yoked to tormenting his self? A certain one goes
without clothes, licks the hands without manners. Does not accept or extend an invitation.
Does not accept what is brought, or specially prepared. Does not enjoy an invitation. Does
not accept from the rim of, a pot, a cooking vessel or when a goat is about the place.
Does not accept across a stick or a broom. Does not accept from two people partaking food,
a woman bearing child, a woman giving suck, a woman gone with a man, a defiled woman, or
from where she is supported. Does not accept from a place where flies abound. Does not
accept fish, meat, intoxicating drinks and brewed drinks. Is support in one house, on one
morsel, in two houses on two morsels, or in seven houses on seven morsels. Or is supported
on what is given by one woman, two women, or seven women. Or is supported on what is
brought by one man, two men, or seven men.Is yoked to this method of partaking food for
half a month. Eats vegetables and millets, raw rice, Dadulla rice, water plants, husked
rice powder, rice foam, flour of oil seeds, grass, cowdung, forest roots and fruits, or is
supported on what falls on the way. Wears hemp clothes, coarse clothes, miserable
garments, rag clothes, bark clothes, skin clothes, strips of skin, grass clothes, bark
clothes, clothes made of planks and of hair, tails and the wings of owls. Is yoked to
pulling out hairs of head and beard. Is yoked to standing, rejecting seats Is yoked to
sitting or lying on a bed of thorns. Is yoked to descending into water, up to three times
by night fall. Thus he practises various kinds of torment for the body. Bhikkhus, this
person torments himself yoked to it.(*2).
Bhikkhus, which person torments others yoked to it? Bhikkhus, here a certain person is
a killer of pigs, goats, birds, a hunter of wild animals, a fisherman, a robber, a highway
robber, one who keeps a prison, or engaged in any other vicious activity. This person
torments others yoked to tormenting others.
Bhikkhus, who torments his self and others, yoked to it? A certain king or the head
anointed king of warrior, or brahmin or householder clan, builds a new assembly hall.
Shaving head and beard, and putting on a rough garment, he smears his body with ghee and
oil. Pricking the horn of a deer on his back, enters the assembly hall, with the queen
consort and the brahmin adviser. Within the enclosure, on some greenery he lies down. From
a certain young cow, milk is drawn from one nipple to support the king, from the second to
support the queen, from the third to support the adviser with the milk from the fourth
nipple the sacrificial cake is cooked. With the remaining milk the calf is fed. Then he
orders, the people kill so many bulls for the sacrifice, so many cows, so many goats, so
many sheep. He orders cut so many trees for the sacrificial post, and clear so much space
for the sacrifice. The slaves, servants, and messengers are frightened with a stick and
made to do the necessary work. Bhikkhus, this one torments himself, and others yoked to
Bhikkhus, who does not torment his self or torment others, unyoked? Bhikkhus, the Thus
Gone One is born in the world, perfect, rightfully enlightened, endowed with knowledge and
conduct, well gone, knower of the worlds, incomparable tamer of those to be tamed, teacher
of gods and men, enlightened and blessed. He proclaims to this world of gods and men,
together with its Maaras, Brahmaas, the community of recluses, brahmins, gods and men,
that Teaching, good at the beginning, in the middle and the end, full of meaning even in
the letters declaring the complete and pure holy life. A householder, or the son of a
householder or one born into some clan hears the Teaching and gains faith in the Thus
Gone, he reflects. The household life is full of difficulties. It is a path of
defilements. Going forth homeless, is like open space. Living in a household it is not
easy to lead a holy life complete and pure without being defiled. Shaving head and beard,
putting on yellow clothes, why shouldnt I go forth homeless? At some suitable time
he gives up a little wealth or a large mass of wealth, either leaving behind a small
circle of friends, or a large circle of friends shaving head and beard and donning yellow
clothes, goes forth as a homeless.
Gone forth he becomes a trainer in the life of a bhikkhu. He gives up hurting living
things, throwing away stick and weapon ashamed he abides arousing compassion for all
beings. Abstaining from taking what is not given, desires the given, making his mind pure,
without theft he abides. Abstains from low sexual intercourse leads the holy life.
Abstaining from telling lies becomes reliable and trustworthy and abides without a dispute
with the world. Gives up slandering. Hearing it here does not say it elsewhere, to split
these. Hearing elsewhere does not say it here to split those, Thus he unites the split,
promotes unity. Fond of unity talks words to unite. Gives up rough talk, saying pleasing
words that go straight to the heart of all. Abstains from frivolous talk saying
appropriate, truthful and meaningful words, in accordance with the Teaching and
Discipline, words that could be treasured.
Abstains from destroying seed groups and vegetable groups. Partaking one meal a day,
abstains from food at night and at untimely hours. Abstains from dance, singing, music,
decorations, flowers and scents, ointments and adornments. Abstains from high and stately
beds. Abstains from accepting gold and silver, uncooked rice and uncooked flesh,. Abstains
from accepting women and girls, slaves, men or women. Abstains from accepting goats and
cows, fowl and pigs, elephants, cattle, horses and mares.
Abstains from accepting fields and wealth, and doing the work of a messenger. Abstains
from buying and selling and unfair ways of weighing and measuring. Abstains from cutting
severing, destroying and highway robbery, and wrong ways of gaining food.
Satisfied, covering the body with robes, and feeding the belly with morsel food, goes
with all the belongings wherever he goes. Like the birds small and large that go with the
weight of their wings. Likewise satisfied covering the body with robes and feeding the
belly with morsels goes with all the belongings wherever he goes. Endowed with this mass
of virtues, he experiences the pleasure of blamelessness internally.
Seeing a form with the eye, does not take the sign or the elements .To one abiding with
the mental faculty of the eye uncontrolled, demerit of covetousness and displeasure may
trickle. He abides protecting the mental faculty of the eye. Hearing a sound with the ear,
Cognizing a smell with the nose, tasting, cognizing touches with the body, Cognizing an
idea with the mind, does not take the sign or the elements. To him abiding with the mental
faculty of the mind not controlled, demerit of covetousness and displeasure may trickle.
He abides protecting the mental faculty of the mind. Endowed with the noble ones
control of the mental faculties, he experiences the untouched pleasure of the mental
faculties. Going forward or returning he is aware. Looking on, or looking aside is aware.
Bending or stretching is aware. Bearing the bowl and three robes is aware. Tasting,
drinking, eating and enjoying is aware. Going, standing, sitting, lying, if awake, and
keeping silence he is aware.
Endowed, with the mass of virtues, the control of the mental faculties, right
mindfulness of the noble ones, he abides in a secluded dwelling, such as a forest, the
root of a tree, a mountain grotto a cave, a charnel ground, a jungle forest, an open
space, or a heap of straw. After the meal and returning from the alms round, he sits legs
crossed, the body placed straight and mindfulness established in front.
Dispelling covetousness for the world he abides freeing the mind. Dispelling anger he
abides with a mind free of anger, compassionate to all born. Dispelling sloth and torpor
he abides, aware of a perception of light, mindful of cleaning sloth and torpor.
Dispelling restlessness and worry he abides with a mind internally appeased, cleaning the
mind of restlessness and worry. Abides with doubts dispelled of merit that should be, and
should not be done.
The bhikkhu dispelling the five hindrances of the mind, and wisely making the minor
defilements weak, secludes the mind from sensual thoughts and demerit. With thoughts and
thought processes and with joy and pleasantness, born of seclusion he abides in the first
Again the bhikkhu overcomimng thoughts and thought processes, the mind internally
appeased, in a single point, with joy and pleasantness born of concentration abides in the
Again, the bhikkhu with equanimity to joy and detachment and aware of experiencing
pleasantness, with the body too (*1), abides in the third jhaana. The noble ones say this
is abiding in pleasanatness, mindful of equanimity.
Again, the bhikkhu dispelling pleasantness and unpleasantness and earlier having
dispelled pleasure and displeasure, mindfulness purified with equanimity abides in the
When the mind is concentrated, pure, free from minor defilements, malleable workable
not disturbed, he directs the mind for the knowledge of previous births. Recollects the
manifold previous births, one birth, two births, three, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty,
forty, fifty, a hundred births, a thousand births, a hundred thousand births, innumerable
forward cycles of births, innumerable backward cycles of births, innumerable forward and
backward cycles of births. There I was born of such name, clan, disposition, supports,
experiencing such pleasant and unpleasant feelings, with such a life span. Disappearing
from there was born there with such name, clan, disposition, supports, experiencing such
pleasant and unpleasant feelings, with such a life span. Disappearing from there, is born
here. Thus with all modes and all details manifold previous births are recollected.
When the mind is concentrated, pure, free from minor defilements malleable workable not
disturbed, he directs the mind for knowledge of the disappearing and appearing of beings.
With the heavenly eye purified beyond human, sees beings disappearing and appearing
un-exalted and exalted, beautiful and ugly, arising in good and bad states according to
the results of actions. These good beings misbehaving by body, speech and mind, blaming
noble ones, with the wrong view of actions, after death are born in loss, in decrease, in
hell. As for these good beings, well behaved in body speech and mind not blaming noble
ones, with the right view of actions after death are born in heaven. Thus, with the
heavenly eye purified beyond human sees beings disappearing and appearing.
When the mind is concentrated, pure, free from minor defilements, malleable workable
not disturbed, he directs the mind for the destruction of desires. He knows this is
unpleasant, this its arising, this its cessation, and this, the path to the cessation of
unpleasantness as it really is. Knows these are desires, this, their rising, this, their
cessation and this, the path to their cessation as it really is. His mind that knows and
sees thus, is released from sensual desires, from desires to be and from
ignorant desires. When released, he knows, Im released, birth is destroyed, the holy
life is lived, what should be done is done. Theres nothing more to wish.
Bhikkhus, this person, not tormenting his self or others is unyoked, is here and now
appeased, extinguished, cooled, and abides pleasantly like Brahma. (*3)
The Blessed One said thus and those bhikkhus rejoiced in the words of the Blessed One.
1. Aware of experiencing pleasantness with the body too. kaayenaca sukha.m
phassati This is the pleasure enjoyed by one not touched by the six doors of
2. This person torments his self yoked to tormenting. He thinks by tormenting himself
he fulfils a vow, and thinks it is merit. Where as he is born in loss on account of his
3. He abides like Brahma.brahma bhuuto The one who has attained
extinction has a mind which is much better than the mind of Brahma.To be like Brahmaa, we
have to develop the four divine abidings. They are loving kindness, compassion, intrinsic
joy and equanimity.