The Discourse about the Noble Search

[2. The Two Searches]

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There are these two searches, monks: a noble search, and an ignoble search.

And what, monks, is an ignoble search?

Here, monks, someone, being himself subject to birth, seeks out what is subject to birth, being himself subject to old-age, seeks out what is subject to old-age, being himself subject to sickness, seeks out what is subject to sickness, being himself subject to death, seeks out what is subject to death, being himself subject to grief, seeks out what is subject to grief, being himself subject to defilements, seeks out what is subject to defilements.

And what do you say, monks, is subject to birth?

Wife and children, monks, are subject to birth,
female and male servants are subject to birth,
goats and sheep are subject to birth,
chickens and pigs are subject to birth,
elephants, cows, horses and mares are subject to birth,
gold and silver are subject to birth, Jāti here has the meaning of origination. In Pāḷi is carries both meanings.01
these, monks, are the bases of what is subject to birth.

Herein, tied, infatuated, and indulging in this, being himself subject to birth, he seeks out what is subject to birth,

And what do you say, monks, is subject to old-age?

Wife and children, monks, are subject to old-age,
female and male servants are subject to old-age,
goats and sheep are subject to old-age,
chickens and pigs are subject to old-age,
elephants, cows, horses and mares are subject to old-age,
gold and silver are subject to old-age, Jarā here has the meaning of decay. In Pāḷi is carries both meanings.02
these, monks, are the bases of what is subject to old-age.

Herein, tied, infatuated, and indulging in this, being himself subject to old-age, he seeks out what is subject to old-age,

And what do you say, monks, is subject to sickness?

Wife and children, monks, are subject to sickness,
female and male servants are subject to sickness,
goats and sheep are subject to sickness,
chickens and pigs are subject to sickness,
elephants, cows, horses and mares are subject to sickness,
these, monks, are the bases of what is subject to sickness.

Herein, tied, infatuated, and indulging in this, being himself subject to sickness, he seeks out what is subject to sickness,

And what do you say, monks, is subject to death?

Wife and children, monks, are subject to death,
female and male servants are subject to death,
goats and sheep are subject to death,
chickens and pigs are subject to death,
elephants, cows, horses and mares are subject to death,
these, monks, are the bases of what is subject to death.

Herein, tied, infatuated, and indulging in this, being himself subject to death, he seeks out what is subject to death,

And what do you say, monks, is subject to grief?

Wife and children, monks, are subject to grief,
female and male servants are subject to grief,
goats and sheep are subject to grief,
chickens and pigs are subject to grief,
elephants, cows, horses and mares are subject to grief,
these, monks, are the bases of what is subject to grief.

Herein, tied, infatuated, and indulging in this, being himself subject to grief, he seeks out what is subject to grief,

And what do you say, monks, is subject to defilements?

Wife and children, monks, are subject to defilements,
female and male servants are subject to defilements,
goats and sheep are subject to defilements,
chickens and pigs are subject to defilements,
elephants, cows, horses and mares are subject to defilements,
gold and silver are subject to defilements,
these, monks, are the bases of what is subject to defilements.

Herein, tied, infatuated, and indulging in this, being himself subject to defilements, he seeks out what is subject to defilements.

This, monks, is an ignoble search.

And what, monks, is a noble search?

Here, monks, someone, being himself subject to birth, after understanding the danger in being subject to birth, seeks out the birthless, supreme, secure Nibbāna,

being himself subject to old-age, after understanding the danger in being subject to old-age, seeks out the ageless, supreme, secure Nibbāna,

being himself subject to disease, after understanding the danger in being subject to disease, seeks out the sickless, supreme, secure Nibbāna,

being himself subject to death, after understanding the danger in being subject to death, seeks out the deathless, supreme, secure Nibbāna,

being himself subject to grief, after understanding the danger in being subject to grief, seeks out the griefless, supreme, secure Nibbāna,

being himself subject to defilements, after understanding the danger in being subject to defilements, seeks out the undefiled, supreme, secure Nibbāna.

This, monks, is a noble search.