The Discourse about the Great Emancipation

[The Third Chapter for Recitation]

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[24: Ānanda's Fault at Rājagaha]

At one time, Ānanda, I was living at Rājagaha Most editions write out the first section (Gijjakūṭe) in full, then the next section (Gotamanigrodhe) as ellipsis, and the rest without ellipsis. When we get to the repetition though, just below, it appears that it is summarising the whole sequence at one go, which implies that the way I have edited it here must be correct. The same applies to the Vesālī section below.01 on the Vulture's Peak Mountain, This is where this discourse began, but it does not appear to have been on that occasion as there are many other places mentioned subsequently which do not appear earlier, therefore it must be referring to a period more than one year before the parinibbāna.02 I was living right there at Rājagaha near the Gotama Banyan Tree, I was living right there at Rājagaha near the Thieves' Precipice, I was living right there at Rājagaha on the side of the Vebhāra (mountain) in the Seven Leaves Cave, CPED: Sattapaṇṇī, m., the tree Alstonia Scholaris. This is a tree much used in Ayurveda medicine for skin diseases and the like. Its leaves have seven points to them, hence the name. It was here that the First Council was held a few months after the parinibbāna.03 I was living right there at Rājagaha on the side of the Isigili (mountain) on Black Rock, I was living right there at Rājagaha in the Cool Wood, at the Snake Tank Slope, I was living right there at Rājagaha in the (River) Tapodā Monastery, I was living right there near Rājagaha, at Jīvaka's Mango Wood, I was living right there near Rājagaha, in the Deer Park at (the place called) Crushing Womb, in that place, Ānanda, I addressed you, (saying):

‘Delightful, Ānanda, is Rājagaha, delightful is the Vulture's Peak Mountain, delightful is the Gotama Banyan Tree, delightful is the Thieves' Precipice, delightful is the side of the Vebhāra (mountain) in the Seven Leaves Cave, delightful is the side of the Isigili (mountain) on Black Rock, delightful is the Cool Wood, at the Snake Tank Slope, delightful is the (River) Tapodā Monastery, delightful is the Squirrel's Feeding Place in Bamboo Wood, delightful is Jīvaka's Mango Wood, delightful is the Deer Park at (the place called) Crushing Womb.

Whoever has developed, Ānanda, made much of, carried on, established, maintained, augmented, and properly instigated the Four Paths to Power, could, if he wanted, remain for the lifespan or for what is left of the lifespan. The Realised One has developed, Ānanda, made much of, carried on, established, maintained, augmented, and properly instigated the Four Paths to Power. If he wanted, Ānanda, the Realised One could remain for the lifespan or for what is left of the lifespan.’

But despite such a gross hint being made by the Realised One, such a gross suggestion being made, you were unable to penetrate it, and did not beg the Realised One, (saying):

‘May the Gracious One remain, reverend Sir, for the lifespan; may the Fortunate One remain for the lifespan, for the benefit of many people, for the happiness of many people, out of compassion for the world, for the welfare, benefit, and happiness of Divinities and men.’

If you, Ānanda, had begged the Realised One twice the Realised One might have rejected your speech, but would have accepted it on the third occasion. So, Ānanda, there is this wrong-doing for you, there is this fault for you.