The First Section of the Great Division in the Discipline Collection

Reverence to him, the Gracious One, the Worthy One, the Perfect Sambuddha

The Great Chapter 1-4 from Vinaya Mahāvagga, Mahākhandhaka Sections 1-4; only the first four sections have been prepared here, as they form a continuous narrative which is lost in later sections.01

[I: The First Teachings]

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1: The Story about the Awakening (Tree) Cf. Udāna 1.1. The first section in the Mahākhandaka occurs also as the first 3 discourses in the Udāna in somewhat different form, which will be noted as we come across them.02
(Conditional Origination)

At that time the Awakened One, In the Udāna after the usual This I heard, which is said to have been spoken by Ānanda, a different formula is used: At one time the Gracious One... The At one time... formula is normally used in the Vinaya in its place.03 the Gracious One, was dwelling near Uruvelā, Although the Commentary gives a number of explanations, it seems to me that Uruvelā would mean Great Sands, which must have described the area in Lord Buddha's time.04 on the bank of the river Nerañjarā, at the root of the Awakening tree, in the first (period) after the complete and perfect Awakening. Although here this obviously refers to the period immediately after the Awakening, the first (period) after the complete and perfect Awakening is taken to refer to the first 20 years after that event.05 Then at that time the Gracious One sat at the root of the Awakening tree Comm: Awakening is said (because of) knowledge in regard to the four Paths (of Awakening).06 in one cross-legged posture for seven days experiencing the happiness of liberation.

Then the Gracious One, for the first watch of the night, applied his mind thoroughly to conditional origination in forward and reverse order: In the Udāna, the first discourse only has the forward order, the second the reverse order, and the third has both, as the first verse refers to the arising of suffering (only) and the second to its cessation, it would seem the Udāna's version is more authentic. For complementary doctrinal and grammatical notes I refer the reader to my translation of the Udāna under the title Exalted Utterances elsewhere on this website.07

“Because of ignorance there are (volitional) processes,
because of (volitional) processes: consciousness,
because of consciousness: mind and body,
because of mind and body: the six sense spheres,
because of the six sense spheres: contact,
because of contact: feeling,
because of feeling: craving,
because of craving: attachment,
because of attachment: continuation,
because of continuation: birth,
because of birth: old age, death, grief, lamentation, pain, sorrow, and despair (all) arise, and so there is an origination of this whole mass of suffering.

But from the complete fading away and cessation of ignorance, there is the cessation of (volitional) processes,
from the cessation of (volitional) processes, the cessation of consciousness,
from the cessation of consciousness, the cessation of mind and body,
from the cessation of mind and body, the cessation of the six sense spheres,
from the cessation of the six sense spheres, the cessation of contact,
from the cessation of contact, the cessation of feeling,
from the cessation of feeling, the cessation of craving,
from the cessation of craving, the cessation of attachment,
from the cessation of attachment, the cessation of continuation,
from the cessation of continuation, the cessation of birth,
from the cessation of birth, old age, death, grief, lamentation, pain, sorrow, and despair (all) cease, and so there is a cessation of this whole mass of suffering.”

Then the Gracious One, having understood the significance of it, on that occasion uttered this exalted utterance:

“When (the nature of) things Comm: the (nature of) things means things on the side of Awakening that effect the experience of the causal series in forward order ... [or] ... (understanding the nature of) the Four Noble Truths. This verse refers to understanding the origination of suffering.08 becomes really manifest
To the ardent meditating brāhmaṇa, Comm: to the one who has destroyed the pollutants and removed wickedness.09
Then all his doubts disappear,
Since he knows (the nature of a) thing and its cause.” Comm: he knows ignorance and so on and its cause, together with its cause, this whole mass of suffering beginning with (mental) processes and so on.10

* * *

Then the Gracious One, Udāna has a longer opening here parallel to the first discourse; the same remark applies to the next section, cf. Udāna 1.2 and 1.3.11 for the middle watch of the night, applied his mind thoroughly to conditional origination in forward and reverse order:

“Because of ignorance there are (volitional) processes,
because of (volitional) processes: consciousness,
because of consciousness: mind and body,
because of mind and body: the six sense spheres,
because of the six sense spheres: contact,
because of contact: feeling,
because of feeling: craving,
because of craving: attachment,
because of attachment: continuation,
because of continuation: birth,
because of birth: old age, death, grief, lamentation, pain, sorrow, and despair (all) arise, and so there is an origination of this whole mass of suffering.

But from the complete fading away and cessation of ignorance, there is the cessation of (volitional) processes,
from the cessation of (volitional) processes, the cessation of consciousness,
from the cessation of consciousness, the cessation of mind and body,
from the cessation of mind and body, the cessation of the six sense spheres,
from the cessation of the six sense spheres, the cessation of contact,
from the cessation of contact, the cessation of feeling,
from the cessation of feeling, the cessation of craving,
from the cessation of craving, the cessation of attachment,
from the cessation of attachment, the cessation of continuation,
from the cessation of continuation, the cessation of birth,
from the cessation of birth, old age, death, grief, lamentation, pain, sorrow, and despair (all) cease, and so there is a cessation of this whole mass of suffering.”

Then the Gracious One, having understood the significance of it, on that occasion uttered this exalted utterance:

“When (the nature of) things becomes really manifest
To the ardent meditating brāhmaṇa,
Then all his doubts disappear,
Since the destruction of causes has been understood.” This verse refers to the cessation of suffering.12

* * *

Then the Gracious One, for the last watch of the night, Cf. Udāna 1.3.13 applied his mind thoroughly to conditional origination in forward and reverse order:

“Because of ignorance there are (volitional) processes,
because of (volitional) processes: consciousness,
because of consciousness: mind and body,
because of mind and body: the six sense spheres,
because of the six sense spheres: contact,
because of contact: feeling,
because of feeling: craving,
because of craving: attachment,
because of attachment: continuation,
because of continuation: birth,
because of birth: old age, death, grief, lamentation, pain, sorrow, and despair (all) arise, and so there is an origination of this whole mass of suffering.

But from the complete fading away and cessation of ignorance, there is the cessation of (volitional) processes,
from the cessation of (volitional) processes, the cessation of consciousness,
from the cessation of consciousness, the cessation of mind and body,
from the cessation of mind and body, the cessation of the six sense spheres,
from the cessation of the six sense spheres, the cessation of contact,
from the cessation of contact, the cessation of feeling,
from the cessation of feeling, the cessation of craving,
from the cessation of craving, the cessation of attachment,
from the cessation of attachment, the cessation of continuation,
from the cessation of continuation, the cessation of birth,
from the cessation of birth, old age, death, grief, lamentation, pain, sorrow, and despair (all) cease, and so there is a cessation of this whole mass of suffering.”

Then the Gracious One, having understood the significance of it, on that occasion uttered this exalted utterance:

“When (the nature of) things becomes really manifest
To the ardent meditating brāhmaṇa,
He stands dispelling Māra's army,
Just like the sun lighting up the firmament.” Comm: thus in this it is to be understood that the first exalted utterance refers to reflection on causality, the second to reflection on Emancipation, and the third to reflection on how the Path arises.14

The Story about the Bodhi (tree) is Finished