The Connected Discourses of the Buddha - Selections

Chapter 56. Saccasaṃyutta: Connected Discourses on the Truths

III. Koṭigāma

21 (1) Koṭigāma (1)
On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling among the Vajjians at Koṭigāma. There the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus thus: “Bhikkhus, it is because of not understanding and not penetrating the Four Noble Truths that you and I have roamed and wandered through this long course of saṃsāra. What four?
    “It is, bhikkhus, because of not understanding and not penetrating the noble truth of suffering that you and I have roamed and wandered through this long course of saṃsāra. It is because of not understanding and not penetrating the noble truth of the origin of suffering … the noble truth of the cessation of suffering … the noble truth of the way leading to the cessation of suffering [432] that you and I have roamed and wandered through this long course of saṃsāra.
    “That noble truth of suffering, bhikkhus, has been understood and penetrated. That noble truth of the origin of suffering has been understood and penetrated. That noble truth of the cessation of suffering has been understood and penetrated. That noble truth of the way leading to the cessation of suffering has been understood and penetrated. Craving for existence has been cut off; the conduit to existence has been destroyed; now there is no more renewed existence.”
    This is what the Blessed One said. Having said this, the Fortunate One, the Teacher, further said this:

“Because of not seeing as they are
 The Four Noble Truths,
 We have wandered through the long course
 In the various kinds of births.

“Now these truths have been seen;
 The conduit to existence is severed;
 Cut off is the root of suffering:
 Now there is no more renewed existence.”

22 (2) Koṭigāma (2)
“Bhikkhus, those ascetics or brahmins who do not understand as it really is: ‘This is suffering’; who do not understand as it really is: ‘This is the origin of suffering’; who do not understand as it really is: ‘This is the cessation of suffering’; who do not understand as it really is: ‘This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering’: these I do not consider to be ascetics among ascetics or brahmins among brahmins, and these venerable ones do not, by realizing it for themselves with direct knowledge, enter and dwell, in this very life, in the goal of asceticism or the goal of brahminhood.
    “But, bhikkhus, those ascetics or brahmins who understand these things: these I consider to be ascetics among ascetics and brahmins among brahmins, [433] and these venerable ones, by realizing it for themselves with direct knowledge, enter and dwell, in this very life, in the goal of asceticism and the goal of brahminhood.”
    This is what the Blessed One said. Having said this, the Fortunate One, the Teacher, further said this:

“Those who do not understand suffering,
 Who do not know suffering’s origin,
 Nor where suffering completely stops,
 Where it ceases without remainder;
 Who do not know that path
 Which leads to suffering’s appeasement:
 They are devoid of mind’s liberation
 And also of liberation by wisdom;
 Incapable of making an end,
 They fare on to birth and aging.
“But those who understand suffering,
 Who know too suffering’s origin,
 And where suffering completely stops,
 Where it ceases without remainder;
 Who understand that path
 Which leads to suffering’s appeasement:
 They are endowed with mind’s liberation
 And also with liberation by wisdom;
 Being capable of making an end,
 They fare no more in birth and aging.”

23 (3) The Perfectly Enlightened One
At Sāvatthī. “Bhikkhus, there are these Four Noble Truths. What four? The noble truth of suffering … the noble truth of the way leading to the cessation of suffering. It is because he has fully awakened to these Four Noble Truths as they really are that the Tathāgata is called the Arahant, the Perfectly Enlightened One.
    “Therefore, bhikkhus, an exertion should be made to understand: ‘This is suffering.’… An exertion should be made to understand: ‘This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering.’”

24 (4) Arahants
At Sāvatthī. “Bhikkhus, whatever Arahants, Perfectly Enlightened Ones, in the past fully awakened to things as they really are, all fully awakened to the Four Noble Truths as they really are. [434] Whatever Arahants, Perfectly Enlightened Ones, in the future will fully awaken to things as they really are, all will fully awaken to the Four Noble Truths as they really are. Whatever Arahants, Perfectly Enlightened Ones, at present have fully awakened to things as they really are, all have fully awakened to the Four Noble Truths as they really are.
    “What four? The noble truth of suffering, the noble truth of the origin of suffering, the noble truth of the cessation of suffering, the noble truth of the way leading to the cessation of suffering. Whatever Arahants, Perfectly Enlightened Ones, fully awakened … will fully awaken … have fully awakened to things as they really are, all have fully awakened to these Four Noble Truths as they really are.
    “Therefore, bhikkhus, an exertion should be made to understand: ‘This is suffering.’… An exertion should be made to understand: ‘This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering.’”

25 (5) The Destruction of the Taints
“Bhikkhus, I say that the destruction of the taints is for one who knows and sees, not for one who does not know and does not see. For one who knows what, for one who sees what, does the destruction of the taints come about? The destruction of the taints comes about for one who knows and sees: ‘This is suffering’; for one who knows and sees: ‘This is the origin of suffering’; for one who knows and sees: ‘This is the cessation of suffering’; for one who knows and sees: ‘This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering.’ It is for one who knows thus, for one who sees thus, that the destruction of the taints comes about.
    “Therefore, bhikkhus, an exertion should be made to understand: ‘This is suffering.’… An exertion should be made to understand: ‘This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering.’”

26 (6) Friends
“Bhikkhus, those for whom you have compassion and who think you should be heeded—whether friends or colleagues, relatives or kinsmen—[435] these you should exhort, settle, and establish for making the breakthrough to the Four Noble Truths as they really are.
    “What four? The noble truth of suffering, the noble truth of the origin of suffering, the noble truth of the cessation of suffering, the noble truth of the way leading to the cessation of suffering.
    “Those for whom you have compassion … these you should exhort, settle, and establish for making the breakthrough to these Four Noble Truths as they really are.
    “Therefore, bhikkhus, an exertion should be made to understand: ‘This is suffering.’… An exertion should be made to understand: ‘This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering.’”

27 (7) Actual
“Bhikkhus, there are these Four Noble Truths. What four? The noble truth of suffering, the noble truth of the origin of suffering, the noble truth of the cessation of suffering, the noble truth of the way leading to the cessation of suffering. These Four Noble Truths, bhikkhus, are actual, unerring, not otherwise. Therefore they are called noble truths.
    “Therefore, bhikkhus, an exertion should be made to understand: ‘This is suffering.’… An exertion should be made to understand: ‘This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering.’”

28 (8) The World
“Bhikkhus, these are these Four Noble Truths. What four? The noble truth of suffering, the noble truth of the origin of suffering, the noble truth of the cessation of suffering, the noble truth of the way leading to the cessation of suffering. In this world, with its devas, Marā, and Brahmā, in this generation with its ascetics and brahmins, its devas and humans, the Tathāgata is the noble one. Therefore they are called noble truths.
    “Therefore, bhikkhus, an exertion should be made to understand: ‘This is suffering.’… An exertion should be made to understand: ‘This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering.’” [436]

29 (9) To Be Fully Understood
“Bhikkhus, there are these Four Noble Truths. What four? The noble truth of suffering, the noble truth of the origin of suffering, the noble truth of the cessation of suffering, the noble truth of the way leading to the cessation of suffering. These are the Four Noble Truths.
    “Of these Four Noble Truths, bhikkhus, there is a noble truth that is to be fully understood; there is a noble truth that is to be abandoned; there is a noble truth that is to be realized; there is a noble truth that is to be developed.
    “And what, bhikkhus, is the noble truth that is to be fully understood? The noble truth of suffering is to be fully understood; the noble truth of the origin of suffering is to be abandoned; the noble truth of the cessation of suffering is to be realized; the noble truth of the way leading to the cessation of suffering is to be developed.
    “Therefore, bhikkhus, an exertion should be made to understand: ‘This is suffering.’… An exertion should be made to understand: ‘This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering.’”

30 (10) Gavampati
On one occasion a number of elder bhikkhus were dwelling among the Cetiyans at Sahajāti. Now on that occasion when the elder bhikkhus had returned from their alms round, after their meal they had assembled in the pavilion and were sitting together when this conversation arose: “Friend, does one who sees suffering also see the origin of suffering, also see the cessation of suffering, also see the way leading to the cessation of suffering?”
    When this was said, the Venerable Gavampati said to the elder bhikkhus: “Friends, in the presence of the Blessed One I have heard and learnt this: [437] ‘Bhikkhus, one who sees suffering also sees the origin of suffering, also sees the cessation of suffering, also sees the way leading to the cessation of suffering. One who sees the origin of suffering also sees suffering, also sees the cessation of suffering, also sees the way leading to the cessation of suffering. One who sees the cessation of suffering also sees suffering, also sees the origin of suffering, also sees the way leading to the cessation of suffering. One who sees the way leading to the cessation of suffering also sees suffering, also sees the origin of suffering, also sees the cessation of suffering.’”

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© Bhikkhu Bodhi, The Connected Discourses of the Buddha (Wisdom Publications, 2000)

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