Classic and Contemporary Buddhist Works

The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha - Selections

147. Cūḷarāhulovāda Sutta: The Shorter Discourse of Advice to Rāhula

1. Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was living at Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s Park.
    2. Then, while the Blessed One was alone in meditation, a thought arose in his mind thus: “The states that ripen in deliverance have ripened in Rāhula. Suppose I were to lead him on further to the destruction of the taints.”
    Then, when it was morning, the Blessed One dressed, and taking his bowl and outer robe, went into Sāvatthī for alms. When he had walked for alms in Sāvatthī and had returned from his almsround, after his meal he addressed the venerable Rāhula thus:
    “Take your sitting cloth with you, Rāhula; let us go to the Blind Men’s Grove [278] to pass the day.”
    “Yes, venerable sir,” the venerable Rāhula replied, and taking his sitting cloth with him, he followed close behind the Blessed One.
    Now on that occasion many thousands of deities followed the Blessed One, thinking: “Today the Blessed One will lead the venerable Rāhula further to the destruction of the taints.” Then the Blessed One went into the Blind Men’s Grove and sat down at the root of a certain tree on a seat made ready. And the venerable Rāhula paid homage to the Blessed One and sat down at one side. The Blessed One then said to the venerable Rāhula:
    3. "Rāhula, what do you think? Is the eye permanent or impermanent?"—"Impermanent, venerable sir."—"Is what is impermanent suffering or happiness?"—"Suffering, venerable sir."—"Is what is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change fit to be regarded thus: ‘This is mine, this I am, this is my self’?"—"No, venerable sir."
    "Rāhula, what do you think? Are forms … Is eye-consciousness  … [279] … Is eye-contact … Is anything comprised within the feeling, perception, formations, and consciousness that arise with eye-contact as condition permanent or impermanent?"—"Impermanent, venerable sir."—"Is what is impermanent suffering or happiness?"—"Suffering, venerable sir."—"Is what is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change fit to be regarded thus: ‘This is mine, this I am, this is my self’?"—"No, venerable sir."
    4–8. "Rāhula, what do you think? Is the ear permanent or impermanent? … Is the nose permanent or impermanent? … Is the tongue permanent or impermanent? … Is the body permanent or impermanent? … Is the mind permanent or impermanent? … Are mind-objects … Is mind-consciousness … Is mind-contact … Is anything comprised within the feeling, perception, formations, and consciousness that arise with mind-contact as condition permanent or impermanent?"—"Impermanent, venerable sir."—"Is what is impermanent suffering or happiness?"—"Suffering, venerable sir."—"Is what is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change fit to be regarded thus: ‘This is mine, this I am, this is my self’?"—"No, venerable sir."
    9. "Seeing thus, Rāhula, a well-taught noble disciple becomes disenchanted with the eye, disenchanted with forms, disenchanted with eye-consciousness, disenchanted with eye-contact, and disenchanted with anything comprised within the feeling, perception, formations, and consciousness that arise with eye-contact as condition.
    "He becomes disenchanted with the ear … He becomes disenchanted with the nose … He becomes disenchanted with the tongue … He becomes disenchanted with the body … He becomes disenchanted with the mind, disenchanted with mind-objects, disenchanted with mind-consciousness, disenchanted with mind-contact, [280] and disenchanted with anything comprised within the feeling, perception, formations, and consciousness that arise with mind-contact as condition.

That is what the Blessed One said. The venerable Rāhula was satisfied and delighted in the Blessed One’s words. Now while this discourse was being spoken, through not clinging the venerable Rāhula’s mind was liberated from the taints. And in those many thousands of deities there arose the spotless immaculate vision of the Dhamma: “All that is subject to arising is subject to cessation.”
 

How to cite this document:
© Bhikkhu Bodhi, The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha (Wisdom Publications, 2009)

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