DIGHA NIKAYA 1 - BRAHMAJALA SUTTA
THE DISCOURSE ON THE NET OF PERFECT WISDOM
 

Thus have I heard:

Once the Bhagava (the Exalted One) made a long journey from Rajagaha to Nalanda with a large company of bhikkhus numbering five hundred.
Suppiya, a wandering ascetic, was also making a long journey from Rajagaha to Nalanda together with his pupil, the youth Brahmadatta.

In the course of the journey Suppiya, the wandering ascetic, maligned the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha in many ways.
The youth Brahmadatta, the pupil of Suppiya, however, praised the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha in many ways.
Thus the teacher and the pupil, each saying things directly contradictory to the other, followed behind the Bhagava and the company of bhikkhus.

Then the Bhagava went up to the King's Rest House at the Ambalatthika garden to put up there with his company of bhikkhus for one night.
The wandering ascetic, Suppiya, approached the same Rest House with his pupil, the youth Brahmadatta, to put up there for one night.
At the garden also, the wandering ascetic, Suppiya, maligned the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha in many ways,
whereas his pupil, the youth Brahmadatta, praised tho Buddha, the Dhamma and the Samgha in many ways.
And in this manner the teachcr and the pupil were each saying things directly contradictory to the other.

Then, as the night ended and the day dawned, the bhikkhus congregated in the pavilion when the following conversation arose: "Friends! How wonderful!

And, indeed, how marvellous, friends, that what has never happened before has now happened! The Exalted One, the All-knowing, the All-seeing, the Homage-worthy,
the Perfectly Self-Enlightened, understands with clear penetration the varied dispositions of sentient beings.
This wandering ascetic, Suppiya, maligned the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha in many ways,
whereas his pupil, the youth Brahmadatta., praised the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha in many ways.
The teacher and the pupil, each saying things directly contradictory to the other, followed behind the Bhagava and the company of bhikkhus."

The Bhagava, knowing the subject of their talk, came to the pavilion, took the seat prepared for him and asked: "Bhikkhus! What were you talking about as you are assembled here?
What was the subject of your unfinished conversation before I came?" On thus being questioned, the bhikkhus told the Bhagava thus:

"Venerable Sir! As the night ended and the day dawned, we congregated in this pavilion and the following conversation arose:

'Friends! How wonderful! And, indeed, how marvellous, friends, that what has never happened before has now happened!
The Exalted One, the All-knowing, the All-seeing, the Homage-Worthy, the Perfectly Self-Enlightened, understands with clear penetration the varied dispositions of sentient beings.
This wandering ascetic, Suppiya, maligned the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha in many ways,
whereas his pupil, the youth Brahmadatta, praised the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Samgha in many ways.
The teacher and the pupil, each say ing things directly contradictory to the other, followed behind the Bhagava and the company of bhikkhus."

"This, Venerable Sir, was the unfinished conversation before the Bhagava came in.

Bhikkhus! if others should malign the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha, you must not feel resentment, nor displeasure, nor anger on that account.
Bhikkhus! If you feel angry or displeased when others malign the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha, it will only be harmful to you (because then you will not be able to practise the dhamma).
Bhikkhus! If you feel angry or displeased when others malign the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha, will you be able to discriminatc their good speech from bad?
"No, indeed, Venerable Sir!" said the bhikkhus.
If others malign me or the Dhamma, or the Sangha, you should explain (to them what is false as false, saying 'It is not so.
It is not true. It is, indeed, not thus with us. Such fault is not to be found among us.'
Bhikkhus! If others should praise the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha, you should not, feel pleased, or delighted, or elated on that account.
Bhikkhus! If you feel pleased, or delighted, or elated, when others praise me, or the Dhamma, or the Sangha, it will only be harmful to you.
Bhikkhus! If others praise me, or the Dhamma, or the Samgha, you should admit what is true as true, saying 'It is so. It is true. It is, indeed, thus with us. In fact, it is to be found among us.'

Cula Sila

Bhikkhus! When a worldling praises the Tathagata he might do so only in respect of matters of a trifling and inferior nature, of mere morality.
And what are those matters of a trifling and inferior nature, of mere morality, by which a worldling might praise the Tathagata?

Bhikkhus! In his praise of the Tathagata, a worldling might say thus: 'Samana Gotama abandons all thoughts of taking life and abstains from destruction of life,
setting aside the stick and sword, ashamed to do evil, and he is compassionate and dwells with solicitude for the welfare of all living beings.'

Bhikkhus! In his praise of the Tathagata, a world ling might say thus: 'Samana Gotama abandons all thoughts of taking what is not given and abstains from taking what is not given.
He accepts only what is given, wishing to receive only what is given. He establishes himself in purity by abstaining from committing theft.'

Bhikkhus! In his praise of the Tathagata, a world ling might say thus: 'Samana Gotama abandons all thoughts of leading a life of unchastity and practises chastity,
remaining virtuous and abstinent from sexual intercourse, the practice of lay people.'

Bhikkhus! In his praise of the Tathagata, a world ling might say thus: 'Samana Gotama abandons all thoughts of telling lies and abstains from telling lies, speaking only the truth,
combining truth with truth, remaining steadfast (in truth), trustworthy and not deceiving.'

Bhikkhus! In his praise of the Tathagata, a world ling might say thus: 'Samana Gotama abandons all thoughts of slandering and abstains from slander.
Hearing things from these people he does not relate them to those people to sow the seed of discord among them.
Hearing things from those people he does not relate them to these people to sow the seed of discord among them.
He reconciles those who are at variance. He encourages those who are in accord. He delights in unity, loves it and rejoices in it. He speaks to create harmony.'

Bhikkhus! In his praise of the Tathagata, a world ling might say thus: 'Samana Gotama abandons all thoughts of speaking harshly and abstains from harsh speech.
He speaks only blameless words, pleasing to the ear, affectionate, going to the heart, courteous, pleasing to many and heartening to many.'

Bhikkhus! In his praise of the Tathagata, a worldling might say thus: 'Samana Gotama abandons all thoughts of talking frivolously and abstains from frivolous talk.
His speech is appropriate to the occasion, being truthful, beneficial, consistent with the Dhamma and the Vinaya,
memorable, timely and opportune, with reasons, confined within limits and conducive to welfare.'

In his praise of the Tathagata, a world ling might say thus: 'Samana Gotama abstains from destroying all seeds and vegetation.

'Samana Gotama takes only one meal a day, not taking food at night and fasting after mid-day.
'Samana Gotama abstains from dancing, singing, music and watching (entertainments) that is a stumbling block to the attainment of morality.
'Samana Gotama abstains from wearing flowers, using perfumes and anointing with unguents.
'Samana Gotama abstains from the use of high and luxurious beds and seats.
'Samana Gotama abstains from the acceptance of gold and silver.
'Samana Gotama abstains from the acceptance of uncooked cereals.
'Samana Gotama abstains from the acceptance of uncooked meat.
'Samana Gotama abstains from the acceptance of women and maidens.
'Samana Gotama abstains from the acceptance of male and female slaves.
'Samana Gotama abstains from the acceptance of goats and sheep.
'Samana Gotama abstains from the acceptance of chickens and pigs.
'Samana Gotama abstains from the acceptance of elephants, cattle, horses and mares.
'Samana Gotama abstains from the acceptance of cultivated or uncultivated land.
'Samana Gotama abstains from acting as messenger or courier.
'Samana Gotama abstains from buying and selling.
'Samana Gotama abstains from using false weights and measures and counterfeits.
'Samana Gotama abstains from such dishonest practices as bribery, cheating and fraud.
'Samana Gotama abstains from maiming, murdering, holding persons in captivity, committing highway robbery, plundering villages and engaging in dacoity.'

O Bhikkhus! Such are things that might be said should a worldling praise the Tathagata.

Majjhima Sila

And then there are certain respected samanas and brahmanas (recluses in general) who, living on the food offered out of faith (in kamma and its results),
are given to destroying such things as seeds and vegetation. And what are such things? They are of five kinds, namely, root-germs, stem-germs, node germs, plumule-germs and seed-germs.
Samana Gotama abstains from destroying such seeds and vegetation.
Bhikkhus! A worldling might praise the Tathagata in this manner.

And then there are certain respected samanas and brahmanas who, living on the food offered out of faith (in Kamma and its results), are given to storing up and using things offered,
such as cooked rice, beverages, clothing, sandals, beds, unguents and eatables. Samana Gotama abstains from storing up and using such things.
Bhikkhus! A worldling might praise the Tathagata in this manner.

And then there are certain respected samanas and brahmanas who, living on the food offered out of faith (in kamma and its results),
are given to watching (entertainments) that is a stumbling block to the attainment of morality. And what are such entertainments?
They are: dancing, singing., music, shows, recitations, hand-clapping, brass-instrument-playing, drum-playing, art exhibitions, playing with an Iron ball, bamboo raising games,
rituals of washing the bones of the dead, elephant-fights, horse-fights, buffalo-fights, bull-fights, goat-fights, sheep-fights, cock fights, quail-fights,
fighting with quarter-staffs, boxing, wrestling, military tattoos, military reviews, route marches and troop-movements.
Samana Gotama abstains from watching (entertainments) which is a stumbling block to the attainment of morality.
Bhikkhus! A worldling might praise the Tathagata in this manner.

And then there are certain respected samanas and brahmanas who, living on the food offered out of faith (in Kamma and its results),
are given to gambling (and taking part in sports and games) that weakens one's vigilance (in the practice of morality).
And what are such sports and games? They are: playing chess on eight-squared or ten-squared boards; playing imaginary chess using the sky as a chess-board;
playing chess on moon-shaped chess boards; flipping cowries with thumb and finger; throwing dice; playing tipcat; playing with brush and paints; playing marbles;
playing at whistling with bided leaves; playing with miniature ploughs; acrobatics; turning palm-leaf wheels; measuring with toy-baskets made of leaves,
playing with miniature chariots; playing with small bows and arrows; alphabetical riddles; mind-reading and simulating physical defects.
Samana Gotama abstains from gambling (and taking part in such sports and games) that weakens one's vigilance (in the practice of morality).
A worldling, bhikkhus, might praise the Tathagata in this manner.

And then there are certain respected samanas and brahmanas who, living on the food offered out of faith (in kamma and its results), are given to using high and luxurious beds and their furnishings.
And what are they? They are: high couches; divans raised on sculptured legs; long-fleeced carpets; woolen coverlets with quaint (geometrical) designs; white woolen coverlets;
woolen coverlets with floral designs; mattresses stuffed with cotton; woolen coverlets with pictorial designs; woolen coverlets with fringes on one or both sides;
gold-brocaded coverlets; silk coverlets; large carpets (wide enough for sixteen dancing girls to dance on); saddle cloth and trappings for elephants and horses;
upholstery for carriages, rugs made of black panther's hide, rugs made of antelope's hide, red canopies and couches with red bolsters at each end.
Samana Gotama abstains from using such high and luxurious beds and their furnishings.
A worldling, bhikkhus, might praise the Tathagata in this manner.

And then there are certain respected samanas and brahmanas who, living on the food offered out of faith (in kamma and its results), are given to beautifying or adorning themselves.
And what are such embellishments and adornments? They are: using perfumed cosmetics, getting massaged, taking perfumed baths, developing one's physique,
using mirrors, painting eye-lashes dark, decorating (oneself) with flowers, applying powder and lotion to the body, beautifying the face with powder and lotion, wearing bangles,
tying the hair into a top-knot, carrying walking sticks or ornamented hollow cylinders (containing medicinal herbs) or swords, using multi-coloured umbrellas or footwear (with gorgeous designs),
wearing a turban or hair-pin set with rubies, carrying a Yak-tail fan and wearing long white robes with fringes.
Samana Gotama abstains from such embellishment and adornment.
A worldling, bhikkhus, might praise the Tathagata in this manner.

And then there are certain respected samanas and brahmanas who, living on the food offered out of faith (in kamma and its results),
are given to engaging themselves in unprofitable talk (that is contrary to correct practice conducive to the attainment of deva realms and Nibbana),
such as talk about kings, thieves, ministers, armed forces, calamities, battles, food, drinks, clothing, beds, flowers, unguents, relatives, vehicles, villages, market-towns, cities, provinces,
womenfolk, heroes, streets, water-fronts, the dead and the departed, trivialities, the universe, the oceans, prosperity, adversity, and so on.
Samana Gotama abstains from engaging himself in such unprofitable talk.
A worldling, bhikkhus, might praise the Tathagata in this manner.

And then there are certain respected samanas and brahmanas who, living on the food offered out of faith (in kamma and its results), are given to mutually disparaging disputes.
And what are they? (They are as follows:) "You do not know this Doctrine and Discipline. I know this Doctrine and Discipline. How can you ever know this Doctrine and Discipline?
Your practice is wrong. My practice is right. My speech is coherent and sensible. Your speech is not coherent and sensible.
What you should say first, you say last; and what you should say last, you say first. What you have long practised to say has been upset now.
I have exposed the faults in your doctrine. You stand rebuked. Try to escape from this censure or explain it if you can,"
Samana Gotama abstains from such mutually disparaging disputes.
A worldling, bhikkhus, might praise the Tathagata in this manner.

And then there are certain respected samanas and brahmanas who, living on the food offered out of faith (in kamma and its results), are given to serving as messengers or couriers.
And what are such services ? They are: going from this place to that place, or coming from that place to this place and taking things from this place to that place,
or bringing things from that place to this place, on behalf of kings, ministers, brahmins, householders and youths.
Samana Gotama abstains from serving as messenger or courier.
A worldling, bhikkhus, might praise the Tathagata in this manner.

And then there are certain respected samanas and brahmanas who, living on the food offered out of faith (in kamma and its results), practise deceitful pretensions (to attainments),
flattery (for gain), subtle insinuation by signs and indications (for gain), using pressure (to get offerings) and the seeking of more gain by cunning offer of gifts.
Samana Gotama abstains from such pretension and flattery.
A worldling, bhikkhus, might praise the Tathagata in this manner.

Maha Sila

And then there are certain respected samanas and brahmanas who, living on the food offered out of faith (in kamma and its results ),
make a wrongful living by means of low arts contrary to correct practice conducive to the attainment of deva realms and Nibbana. And ,what are such low arts?
They are: fortune telling from a study of physical characteristics, or of signs and omens, or of lightning; interpreting dreams; reading physiognomy;
prognosticating from a study of rat-bites; indicating benefits from fire-oblation with different kinds of firewood,
or with different kinds of ladle; with husks, broken rice, whole rice, clarified butter, oil, oral spells, or with blood; reading physiognomy while chanting spells;
forecasting good or bad fortune from the signs and marks of a piece of land; being versed in state affairs; reciting spells in the graveyard to eliminate danger;
reciting spells to overcome evil spirits; using magical formulae learnt in a mud-house; charming snakes and curing snake-bites; treating poisoning; curing scorpion-stings or rat-bites;
interpreting animal and bird sounds and the cawing of crows; foretelling the remaining length of life; diverting the flight of arrows; and identifying the cries of animals.
Samana Gotama abstains from making a wrongful living by such means.
A worldling, bhikkhus, might praise the Tathagata in this manner.

And then there are certain respected samanas and brahmanas who, living on the food offered out of faith (in kamma and its results),
make a wrongful living by means of low arts contrary to correct practice conducive to the attainment of deva realms and Nibbana. And what are they?
They are: reading the portents of gems, dresses, sticks, daggers, swords, arrows, bows and other weapons; reading the characteristics of women, men, young men, young women,
male slaves, female slaves, elephants, horses, buffaloes, bulls and other cattle, goats, sheep, chickens, quails, iguanas, pointed- eared animals,tortoises and game-beasts.
Samana Gotama abstains from making a wrongful living by such means.
A worldling, bhikkhus, might praise the Tathagata in this manner.

And then there are certain respected samanas and brahmanas who, living on the food offered out of faith (in kamma and its results),
make a wrongful living by means of low arts contrary to correct practice conducive to the attainment of deva realms and Nibbana. And what are they?
They are: making predictions about kings going to war; about kings coming back from war; about kings advancing in battle from their home country;
about kings from foreign countries retreating; about kings from foreign countries advancing in battle; about kings retreating to their home country;
about kings from their home country proving victorious; about kings from foreign countries losing battle;
about kings from foreign countries winning battles; about kings in their home country losing battles; and about probabilities of victories and losses of warring kings.
Samana Gotama abstains from making a wrongful living by such means.
A worldling., bhikkhus, might praise the Tathagata in this manner.

And. then there are certain respected samanas and brahmanas who, living on the food offered out of faith (in kamma and its results),
make a wrongful living by means of low arts contrary to correct practice conducive to the attainment of deva realms and Nibbana. And what are they?
They are: making predictions about the eclipse of the moon, or of the sun; about the conjunction of a group of stars with a planet;
about the correct or incorrect course of the moon, the sun and the planets; about meteors, comets, earthquakes and thunder; about the rising and setting of the moon, the sun and the planets;
about the phenomena of darkness and brightness following such rising and setting; about the effects of the eclipse of the moon, or of the sun, or of the planets;
about the effects of the moon or the sun taking the right course; about the effects of the moon or the sun taking the wrong course;
about the effects of the planets taking the right course; about the effects of the planets taking the wrong course; about the effects of meteors, comets, and thunder;
about the effects of the rising and setting of the moon, or of the sun, or of the planets; and about the effects of the phenomena of darkness or brightness following such rising and setting.
Samana Gotama abstains from making a wrongful living by such means.
A worldling, bhikkhus, might praise the Tathagata in this manner.

And then there are certain respected samanas and brahmanas who, living on the food offered out of faith (in kamma and its results),
make a wrongful living by means of low arts contrary to correct practice conducive to the attainment of deva realms and nibbana. And what are they?
They are: predicting rainfall or drought, abundance or famine, peace or calamity, disease or health;
and knowledge of counting on the fingers or of arithmetical or mathematical calculations, of verification, and of treatises of controversial matters (such as the origin of the universe etc.).
Samana Gotama abstains from making a wrongful living by such means.
A worldling, bhikkhus, might praise the Tathagata in this manner.

And then there are certain respected samanas and brahmanas who, living on the food offered out of faith (in kamma and its results),
make a wrongful living by means of low arts contrary to correct practice conducive to the attainment of deva realms and Nibbana. And what are they?
They are: bringing the bride to the bridegroom; leading away the bride from her father's home; arranging betrothal, or divorce; making predictions relating to acquisition or distribution of property;
causing gain or loss of fame and prosperity; curing the tendency to abort or miscarry; casting spells to cause immobility of the tongue or the jaws;
reciting a spell to stop an attacking hand or to cause inability to speak or to hear; conducting seances with the aid of mirrors, or employing young women or female slaves as mediums;
propitiating the sun or the Brahma making fire issue from the mouth by means of a spell; and making invocations to the goddess of glory.
Samana Gotama abstains from making a wrongful living by such means.
A worldling, bhikkhus, might praise the Tathagata in this manner.

And then there are certain respected samanas and brahmanas who, living on the food offered out of faith (in kamma and its results),
make a wrongful living by means of low arts contrary to correct practice conducive to the attainment of deva realms and Nibbana. And what are they?
They are: propitiating the devas by promises of offerings; making offerings to devas for favours granted; causing possession by spirits or exorcising them;
casting spells with magical formulae learnt in a mud-house; turning a eunuch into a man; turning a man into a eunuch; practising the art of choosing building-sites;
propitiating the devas while choosing building-sites; practising the profession of mouth-washing or bathing; fire-worshipping; causing vomiting; giving purgatives;
using emetics, or catharses; letting out phlegm etc. from the head; preparing ear-drops or eye drops; preparing medicinal snuff, or eye ointment to remove cataracts;
preparing eye-lotions; curing cataracts; doing surgery; practising paediatrics; preparing basic drugs and dressing sores and removing the dressing.
Samana Gotama abstains from making a wrongful living by such means.
A worldling, bhikkhus, might praise the Tathagata in this manner.

Bhikkhus! These are the matters of a trifling and inferior nature, of mere morality, in respect of which a worldling might speak when praising the Tathagata.

Exposition On Wrong Views

Bhikkhus! Besides morality there are other dhammas which are profound, hard to see, hard to comprehend, tranquil, noble, surpassing logic,
subtle and intelligible only to the pandita, ariyas who have attained one of the four maggas.
The Tathagata has set them forth after realization of these dhammas by himself through Sabbannuta Nana (Perfect Wisdom).
Anyone wishing to praise correctly the true virtues of the Tathagata should do so in terms of these dhammas.
And what are the dhammas which are profound, hard to see, hard to comprehend, tranquil, noble, surpassing logic, subtle and intelligible only to the ariyas?
 

Eighteen Wrong Views Relating To The Past ( Pubbantanuditthi )

There are, bhikkhus, certain samanas and brahmanas who speculate on the past and who adhere to views relating to it.
They assert on eighteen different grounds their various wrong views based on the past.
On what authority and on what basis do these respected samanas and brahmanas speculate on the past, adhere to views relating to it,
and assert on eighteen different grounds their various wrong views based on the past?

Four Kinds Of Eternity View (Sassataditthi)

There area bhikkhus, certain samanas and brahmanas who hold the view of eternity.
They give four reasons to demonstrate the eternal existence of atta as well as loka.
On what authority and on what basis do these respected samanas and brahmanas demonstrate on four grounds that atta as well as loka is eternal?

The First Category of Eternity View

In this world, bhikkhus, a certain samana or brahmana achieves utmost mental concentration by dint of ardent, steadfast, persevering exertion, mindfulness and right attentiveness.
When his mind has thus gained the highest concentration, he recollects many past existences. And what does he recollect?

He recollects one past existence, or two, or three, or four, or five, or ten, or twenty, or thirty, or forty, or fifty, or a hundred, a thousand, a hundred thousand existences,
or many hundred, many thousand, many hundred thousand existences in this way: "In that past existence I was known by such a name. I was born into such a family.
I was of such an appearance. I was thus nourished. I enjoyed pleasure thus. I suffered pain thus. My life-span was such. I died in that existence.
I was born in another existence. In that (new) existence I was known by such a name. I was born into such a family. I was of such an appearance.
I was thus nourished, I enjoyed pleasure thus. I suffered pain thus. My life-span was such. I died in that existence. Then I was born in this existence."
In this way he recollects many past existences together with their characteristics and related facts (such as names and clans).

He says thus:

"Atta as well as loka is eternal, barren, standing like a mountain peak and firm like a gate post. Beings transmigrate, go the round of rebirths, die and are born again.
Atta or loka, however, is permanent like all things of an unchanging and enduring nature.
It must be so because I have achieved utmost mental concentration by dint of ardent, steadfast, persevering exertion, mindfulness and right attentiveness.
When my mind has thus gained the highest concentration, I can recollect many past existences. And what do I recollect?

I recollect one past existence, or two, or three, or four, or fives or ten, or twenty, or thirty or forty, or fifty, or a hundred, a thousand, a hundred thousand existences,
or many hundred, many thousand, many hundred thousand existences in this way: 'In that past existence I was known by such a name. I was born into such a family.
I was of such an appearance. I was thus nourished. I enjoyed pleasure thus. I suffered pain thus. My life-span was such. I died in that existence. I was born in another existence.
In that (new) existence I was known by such a name. I was born into such a family. I was of such an appearance. I was thus nourished.
I enjoyed pleasure thus. suffered pain thus. My life-span was such. I died in that existence. Then I Was born in this existence.'
In this way I recollect many past existences together with their characteristics and related facts (such as names and clans).
And so I say that I know this:

Atta as well as loka is eternal, barren, standing like a mountain peak and firm like a gate post. Beings transmigrate, go the round of rebirths, die and are born again.
Atta or loka, however, is permanent like all things of an unchanging and enduring nature."

Bhikkhus! This is the first line of reasoning and it is based on this, holding on to this, that certain samanas and brahmanas demonstrate that atta as well as loka is eternal.

The Second Category of Eternity View

And secondly, on what authority and on what basis do the respected samanas and brahmanas who hold the eternity view demonstrate, that atta as well as loka is eternal?

In this world, bhikkhus, a certain samana or brahmana achieves utmost mental concentration by dint of ardent, steadfast, persevering exertion, mindfulness and right attentiveness.
When his mind has thus gained the highest concentration, he recollects many past existences. And what does he recollect?

He recollects one cycle of dissolution and development, or two, or three, or four, or five, or ten cycles in this way: "In that past existence I was known by such a name. I was born into such a family.
I was of such an appearance. I was thus nourished. I enjoyed pleasure thus. I suffered pain thus. My life-span was such. I died in that existence. I was born in another existence.
In that (new) existence I was known by such a name. I was born into such a family. I was of such an appearance. I was thus nourished. I enjoyed pleasure thus. I suffered pain thus.
My life-span was such. I died in that existence. Then I was born in this existence."
In this way he recollects many past existences together with their characteristics and related facts (such as names and clans).

He says thus:

"Atta as well as loka is eternal, barren, standing like a mountain peak and firm like a gate post. Beings transmigrate, go the round of rebirths, die and are born again.
Atta or loka, however, is permanent like all things of an unchanging and enduring nature.
It must be so because I have achieved utmost mental concentration by dint of ardent, steadfast, persevering exertion, mindfulness and right attentiveness.
When my mind has thus gained the highest concentration, I can recollect many past existences. And what do I recollect?

I recollect one cycle of dissolution and development, or two, or three, or four, or five, or ten cycles in this way: 'In that past existence I was known by such a name.
I was born into such a family. I was of such an appearance. I was thus nourished. I enjoyed pleasure thus. I suffered pain thus. My life-span was such. I died in that existence.
I was born in another existence. In that (new) existence I was known by such a name. I was born into such a family. I was of such an appearance.
I was thus nourished. I enjoyed pleasure thus. I suffered pain thus. My life-span was such. I died in that existence. Then I was born in this existence.'
In this way I recollect many past existences together with their characteristics and related facts (such as names and clans).
And so I say that I know this:

Atta as well as loka is eternal, barren, standing like a mountain peak and firm like a gate post. Beings transmigrate, go the round of rebirths, die and are born again.
Atta or loka, however, is permanent like all things of an unchanging and enduring nature."

Bhikkhus! This is the second line of reasoning and it is based on this, holding on to this, that certain samanas and brahmanas demonstrate that atta as well as loka is eternal.

The Third Category of Eternity View

And thirdly, on what authority and on what basis do the respected samanas and brahmanas who hold the eternity view demonstrate that atta as well as loka is eternal?

In this world, bhikkhus, a certain samana or bahmana achieves utmost mental concentration by dint of ardent, steadfast, persevering exertion, mindfulness and right attentiveness.
When his mind has thus gained the highest mental concentration, he recollects many past existences. And what does he recollect?

He recollects ten cycles of dissolution and development, or twenty, or thirty, or forty cycles in this way: "In that past existence I was known by such a name. I was born into such a family.
I was of such an appearance. I was thus nourished. I enjoyed pleasure thus. I suffered pain thus. My life-span was such. I died in that existence. I was born in another existence.
In that (new) existence, I was known by such a name. I was born into such a family. I was of such an appearance. I was thus nourished. I enjoyed pleasure thus. I suffered pain thus.
My life-span was such. I died in that existence. Then I was born in this existence."
In this way he recollects many past existences together with their characteristics and related facts (such as names and clans).

He says thus:

"Atta as well as loka is eternal, barren, standing like a mountain peak and firm like a gate post. Beings transmigrate, go the round of rebirths, die and are born again.
Atta or loka, however, is permanent like all things of an unchanging and enduring nature.
It must be so because I have achieved utmost mental concentration by dint of ardent, steadfast, persevering exertion mindfulness and right attentiveness.
When my mind has thus gained the highest concentration, I can recollect many past existences. And what do I recollect?

I recollect ten, or twenty, or thirty or forty, cycles of dissolution and development in this way: 'In that past existence I was known by such a name. I was born into such a family.
I was of such an appearance. I was thus nourished. I enjoyed pleasure thus. I suffered pain thus. My life-span was such. I died in that existence. I was born in another existence.
In that (new) existence I was known by such a name. I was born into such a family. I was of such an appearance. I was thus nourished. I enjoyed pleasure thus. I suffered pain thus.
My life-span was such. I died in that existence. Then I was born in this existence.' In this way I recollect many past existences together with their characteristics and related facts (such as names and clans).
And so I say that I know this:

Atta as well as loka is eternal, barren, standing like a mountain peak and firm like a gate post. Beings transmigrate, go the round of rebirths, die and are born again.
Atta or loka, however, is permanent like all things of an unchanging and enduring nature."

Bhikkhus! This is the third line of reasoning, and it is based on this, holding on to this, that certain samanas and brahmanas demonstrate that atta as well as loka is eternal.

The Fourth Category of Eternity View

And fourthly, on what authority and on what basis do the respected samanas and brahmanas demonstrate that atta as well as loka is eternal?

In this world, bhikkhus, a certain samana or brahmana is given to logic and investigation. He uses various methods of reasoning, conducts investigations and gives his views, saying:

'Atta as well as loka is eternal, barren, standing like a mountain peak and firm like a gate post. Beings transmigrate, go the round of rebirths, die and are born again.
Atta or loka, however, is permanent like all things of an unchanging and enduring nature,'

Bhikkhus! This is the fourth line of reasoning, and it is based on this, holding on to this, that certain samanas and brahmanas demonstrate that atta as well as loka is eternal.

Bhikkhus! The samanas and brahmanas who hold the eternity view demonstrate that atta as well as loka is eternal in the four ways thus cited above.

Bhikkhus! When any samanas and brahmanas who hold the eternity view demonstrate that atta as well as loka is eternal,
all of them proffer these four, or one of these four, lines of reasoning and no other besides them.

Bhikkhus! The Tathagata knows the destination, the next existence in which one holding these four views would be reborn, if these views are thus held on to, if these views are thus grasped.

The Tathagata knows these four views. He also knows the dhamma which surpasses them. Knowing that dhamma, he does not view it in the wrong way.
Since he does not view it in the wrong way, he realizes by himself the extinction of defilements (i.e., greed, anger, and ignorance of the Four Ariya Truths.)

Bhikkhus! Since the Tathagata rightly knows the arising of feeling (vedana) and its cause, the cessation of feeling and its cause, its pleasantness, its faults,
and freedom from attachment to it, he becomes liberated without any clinging, (i.e., he realizes Nibbana).

Thus, bhikkhus, these are the dhammas which are profound, hard to see, hard to comprehend, tranquil, noble, surpassing logic, subtle and intelligible only to the ariyas.
The Tathagata has set them forth after realization of these dhammas by himself through Sabbannuta Nana (Perfect Wisdom).
Anyone wishing to praise correctly the true virtues of the Tathagata should do so in terms of these dhammas.

Four Views Of Eternity And Non-eternity (Ekacca Sassata Ditthi)

There are, bhikkhus, some samanas and brahmanas who, holding the dualistic view of eternity and non-eternity,
put forward four reasons to show that atta as well as loka is in some cases eternal find in others not eternal.
On what authority and on what basis do these respected samanas and brahmanas, holding the dualistic view of eternity and non-eternity,
put forward four reasons to show that atta as well as loka is in some cases eternal and in others not eternal?

The First Category Of Ekacca Sassata Ditthi

There, indeed, is such a time, bhikkhus, as when this world system gets dissolved, as it does at times, after a lapse of many aeons.
When the world system becomes thus dissolved, beings are reborn mostly in the Abhassara plane of existence (of radiant Brahmas).
When they are born there because of jhana mind, they are nurtured by rapture, resplendent with light from their own bodies, sojourning in the heavens and living in splendour.
And they remain there for aeons.

There, indeed, is such a time, bhikkhus, as when this world system rises again, as it does at times, after a lapse of many aeons.
When the world system thus rises again, there appears a palatial Brahma-abode (brahma-vimana, one or all three of Brahma realms of first jhana), void of all life.
At that time, a certain being from the Abhassara plane of existence dies, either at the end of his span of life,
or on the exhaustion of the stock of his meritorious deeds, and is reborn in that empty palatial Brahma realm.
When he is born there because of jhana mind, he is nurtured by rapture, resplendent with light from his own body, sojourning in the heavens and living in splendour.
Thus he remains there for aeons.

Living there alone for aeons, there arises in him mental weariness and a longing for company thus: "Would that some other beings come to this place!"
And then other beings from the Abhassara plane of existence die either at the end of their span of life, or on the exhaustion of the stock of their meritorious deeds,
and are reborn in that palatial Brahma realm.
When they are born there because of jhana mind, they are nurtured by rapture, resplendent with light from their own bodies, sojourning in the heavens and living in splendour.
Thus they remain there for aeons.

Then, bhikkhus, the being who was the first to be reborn there thinks to himself thus:

"I am the Brahma, the great Brahma, the conqueror, the unconquered, the all-seeing, the subjector of all to his wishes,
the omnipotent, the maker, the creator, the supreme, the controller, the one confirmed in the practice of jhana, and father to all that have been and shall be.
I have created these other beings. Why can I say so? I can say so because a while ago I thought to myself: 'Would that some other beings come to this place!'
As I wished so, other beings have appeared in this place."

And then other beings who appeared later think to themselves:

"This honourable personage is the Brahma, the great Brahma, the conqueror, the unconquered, the all-seeing, the subjector of all to his wishes,
the omnipotent, the maker, the creator, the supreme, the controller, the one confirmed in the practice of jhana, and father to all that have been and shall be.
This honourable Brahma has created us. Why can we say so? We can say so because, as we see, he appeared in this place first, whereas we appeared only after him."

Among them, bhikkhus, the one who appeared first lives longer, and is more beautiful and more powerful (than the others).
Those beings who appeared later have a shorter life, and are less beautiful and less powerful (than the one who first appeared).

Then, bhikkhus, there arises this possibility. A being dies in the Brahma plane of existence and is reborn in this human world;
and there he renounces the worldly life for the homeless life of a recluse.
And having thus renounced the worldly life and become a homeless recluse, he achieves utmost mental concentration by dint of ardent, steadfast, persevering exertion, mindfulness and right attentiveness.
Having established his mind in highest concentration, he can recollect that former existence (of a Brahma); but he cannot recollect beyond that.

He says thus:

"That honourable personage is the Brahma, the great Brahma, the conqueror, the unconquered, the all-seeing, the subjector of all to his wishes,
the omnipotent, the maker, the creator, the supreme, the controller, the one confirmed in the practice of jhana, and father