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Friday, May 28, 2010

Buddha Purnima...and the Deer Park Sermon

It was a full moon last night, the moon under which the Buddha was born in a grove of Sal trees and also the moon under which the Buddha attained enlightenment. I thought it only fitting that I put extracts from the Sermon at the Deer Park, his first Sermon after attaining enlightenment here. Since it is translated from Buddhist canons, it is highly lyrical (the Buddhist tracts were handed down orally for four hundred years before they were written down at the Second Council)...Happy Reading...You can also compare with the Sermon on the Mount, given by Christ, in the earlier blogs..:

The Buddha's First Sermon

English version by Sanderson Beck

These two extremes, monks, are not to be practiced
by one who has gone forth from the world.
What are the two?

That joined with the passions and luxury---
low, vulgar, common, ignoble, and useless,
and that joined with self-torture---
painful, ignoble, and useless.

Avoiding these two extremes the one who has thus come
has gained the enlightenment of the middle path,
which produces insight and knowledge,
and leads to peace, wisdom, enlightenment, and nirvana.

And what, monks, is the middle path, by which
the one who has thus come has gained enlightenment,
which produces knowledge and insight,
and leads to peace, wisdom, enlightenment, and nirvana?

This is the noble eightfold way, namely,
correct understanding, correct intention,
correct speech, correct action, correct livelihood,
correct attention, correct concentration,
and correct meditation.

This, monks, is the middle path, by which
the one who has thus come has gained enlightenment,
which produces insight and knowledge,
and leads to peace, wisdom, enlightenment, and nirvana.

Now this, monks, is the noble truth of pain:
birth is painful; old age is painful;
sickness is painful; death is painful;
sorrow, lamentation, dejection, and despair are painful.
Contact with unpleasant things is painful;
not getting what one wishes is painful.
In short the five groups of grasping are painful.

Now this, monks, is the noble truth of the cause of pain:
the craving, which leads to rebirth,
combined with pleasure and lust,
finding pleasure here and there,
namely the craving for passion,
the craving for existence,
and the craving for non-existence.

Now this, monks, is the noble truth
of the cessation of pain:
the cessation without a remainder of craving,
the abandonment, forsaking, release, and non-attachment.

Now this, monks, is the noble truth
of the way that leads to the cessation of pain:
this is the noble eightfold way, namely,
correct understanding, correct intention,
correct speech, correct action, correct livelihood,
correct attention, correct concentration,
and correct meditation.

"This is the noble truth of pain":
Thus, monks, among doctrines unheard before,
in me insight, wisdom, knowledge, and light arose.

"This noble truth of pain must be comprehended."
Thus, monks, among doctrines unheard before,
in me insight, wisdom, knowledge, and light arose.

"It has been comprehended."
Thus, monks, among doctrines unheard before,
in me insight, wisdom, knowledge, and light arose.

"This is the noble truth of the cause of pain":
Thus, monks, among doctrines unheard before,
in me insight, wisdom, knowledge, and light arose.

"The cause of pain must be abandoned."
Thus, monks, among doctrines unheard before,
in me insight, wisdom, knowledge, and light arose.

"It has been abandoned."
Thus, monks, among doctrines unheard before,
in me insight, wisdom, knowledge, and light arose.

"This is the noble truth of the cessation of pain":
Thus, monks, among doctrines unheard before,
in me insight, wisdom, knowledge, and light arose.

"The cessation of pain must be realized."
Thus, monks, among doctrines unheard before,
in me insight, wisdom, knowledge, and light arose.

"It has been realized."
Thus, monks, among doctrines unheard before,
in me insight, wisdom, knowledge, and light arose.

"This is the noble truth
of the way that leads to the cessation of pain":
Thus, monks, among doctrines unheard before,
in me insight, wisdom, knowledge, and light arose.

"The way must be practiced."
Thus, monks, among doctrines unheard before,
in me insight, wisdom, knowledge, and light arose.

"It has been practiced."
Thus, monks, among doctrines unheard before,
in me insight, wisdom, knowledge, and light arose.

As long as in these four noble truths
my due knowledge and insight
with the three sections and twelve divisions
was not well purified, even so long, monks,
in the world with its gods, Mara, Brahma,
its beings with ascetics, priests, gods, and men,
I had not attained the highest complete enlightenment.
This I recognized.

And when, monks, in these four noble truths
my due knowledge and insight
with its three sections and twelve divisions
was well purified, then monks,
in the world with its gods, Mara, Brahma,
its beings with ascetics, priests, gods, and men,
I had attained the highest complete enlightenment.
This I recognized.

Knowledge arose in me;
insight arose that the release of my mind is unshakable:
this is my last existence;
now there is no rebirth.

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