DISCOURSE ON SETTING IN MOTION THE WHEEL OF THE DHAMMA

Thus have I heard: Once, the Blessed One was staying in the Deer Park at Isipatana, near Baranasi. There the Blessed One addressed the group of five bhikkhus (monks):

There are two extremes, bhikkhus, which should not be followed by one who has gone forth from the worldly life: sensual indulgence, which is low, course, vulgar, ignoble and unprofitable; and self-tormenting, which is painful, ignoble and unprofitable. Bhikkhus, by avoiding these two extremes the Tathagata has realised the Middle way which gives vision and understanding, and leads to peace, higher wisdom, enlightenment and nibbana.

And what is the middle way realised by the Tathagata, which gives vision and understanding, and leads to peace higher wisdom, enlightenment and nibbana? It is this the Noble Eightfold Path, namely, right understanding (samma ditthi), right intention (samma sankappo), right speech (samma vaca), right action (samma kammanto) right livelihood (samma ajivo), right effort (samma vayamo), right mindfulness (samma sati) and right concentration (samma samadhi). This, bhikkhus, is the middle way realised by the Tathagata, which gives vision and understanding, and leads to peace, higher wisdom, enlightenment and nibbana.

Now this, bhikkhus, is the Noble Truth of dukkha (unsatisfactoriness): birth is dukkha; ageing is dukkha; and death is dukkha sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair are dukkha; association with the unloved is dukkha; separation from the loved is dukkha; not attaining one's wishes is dukkha; in brief, the five categories of the grasping mind are dukkha. [Form (rupa), feeling (vedana), perception (sañña), mental formations (sankhara), consciousness (viññana)]

Now this, bhikkhus, is the noble truth of the origin of dukkha: it is the craving that conditions renewal of being, which is accompanied by passionate pleasure, and takes delight in this and that object: namely, sensual craving; craving to become; craving for annihilation.

Now this, bhikkhus, is the noble truth of the cessation of dukkha: it is the complete and passionless cessation of that craving; giving it up, abandoning it, being released and detached from it.

Now this, bhikkhus, is the noble truth of the way leading to the cessation of dukkha: it is this - the Noble Eightfold Path, namely: right understanding, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration.

1) i) With the thought: "This is the noble truth of dukkha," there arose in me vision, knowledge, insight, wisdom, light, concerning things unknown before.
    ii) With the thought: "This is the noble truth of dukkha, and this has to be understood," there arose in me vision, knowledge, insight, wisdom, light, concerning things unknown before.
     iii) With the thought: "This is the noble truth of dukkha, and this dukkha has been understood," there arose in me vision, knowledge, insight, wisdom, light, concerning things unknown before.
2) i) With the thought: "This is the noble truth of the source of dukkha," there arose in me vision, knowledge, insight, wisdom, light, concerning things unknown before.
     ii) With the thought: "This is the noble truth of the source of dukkha, and this source has to be abandoned," there arose in me vision, knowledge, insight, wisdom, light, concerning things unknown before.
     iii) With the thought: "This is the noble truth or the source of dukkha, and this source of dukkha has been abandoned," there arose in me vision, knowledge, insight, wisdom, light, concerning things unknown before.
3) i) With the thought: "This is the noble truth of the cessation of dukkha," there arose in me vision, knowledge, insight, wisdom, light, concerning things unknown before.
     ii) With the thought: "This is the noble truth of the cessation of dukkha, and this cessation of dukkha has to be realised," there arose in me, bhikkhus, vision, knowledge, insight, wisdom, light, concerning things unknown before.
     iii) With the thought: "This is the noble truth of the cessation of dukkha, and this cessation of dukkha has been realised," there arose in me, bhikkhus, vision, knowledge, insight, wisdom, light, concerning things unknown before.
4) i) With the thought: "This is the noble truth of the way leading to the cessation of dukkha, there arose in me, bhikkhus, vision, knowledge, insight, wisdom, light, concerning things unknown before.
     ii) With the thought: "This is the noble truth of the way leading to the cessation of dukkha, and this way has to be developed," there arose in me, bhikkhus, vision, knowledge, insight, wisdom. light, concerning things unknown before.
     iii) With the thought: "This is the noble truth of the way leading to the cessation of dukkha, and this way has been developed," there arose in me, bhikkhus, vision, knowledge, insight wisdom, light, concerning things unknown before.

So long, bhikkhus, as my knowledge and vision of reality regarding these four noble truths, in these three phases - these twelve aspects - was not fully clear to me, I did not declare the realisation of incomparable, perfect enlightenment to the world with its Devas, Maras and Brahmas, and to the mass of beings with its Gods and Humans. But when, bhikkhus, my knowledge and vision of reality regarding these four noble truths in three phases - these twelve aspects - was fully clear to me, I declared the realisation of incomparable, perfect enlightenment to the world with its Devas, Maras and Brahmas, and to the mass of beings with its Gods and humans. Moreover, the knowledge and vision arose in me: "Unshakeable is my deliverance. This is the last birth. Now there is no more becoming for me."

This is what the Blessed One said. The group of five bhikkhus were glad at heart and approved of the words of the Blessed One.

Now during this discourse, the passionless, pure seeing of the truth appeared to the Venerable Kondañña: "everything that has the characteristic of arising has the characteristic of ceasing."

When the Wheel of Dhamma had thus been set rolling by the Blessed One, the Devas of the earth raised the cry: "In the Deer Park at Isipatana, near Baranasi, the unsurpassed Wheel of Dhamma has been set rolling by the Blessed One, and no recluse, Deva, Mara, Brahma, or other being in the world can stop it." The Deva-kings of the four quarters, hearing the cry of the Devas of the earth, also raised the cry; the Devas of the thirty-three, hearing the cry of the Deva-kings of the four quarters, also raised the cry; the Yama Devas, hearing the cry of the Devas of the thirty-three, also raised the cry; the Devas of Delight, hearing the cry of the Yama Devas, also raised the cry; the Devas of Creativity, hearing the cry of the Devas of Delight, also raised the cry; the Devas Who Delight in the Work of Other Devas, hearing the cry of the Devas of Creativity, also raised the cry; the Devas attendant on the Brahma Gods, hearing the cry of the Devas Who Delight in the Work of Other Devas, also raised the cry: "in the Deer Park at Isipatana, near Baranasi, the unsurpassed Wheel of Dhamma has been set rolling by the Blessed One, and no recluse, Deva, Mara, Brahma, or other being in the world can stop it."

Thus in a moment, in a flash, at that very hour, word of the turning of the wheel of Dhamma soared up to the realm of the Brahma Gods and this ten-thousandfold world system shook and rocked and quaked; and a boundless, sublime radiance surpassing the glory of the Devas appeared on earth.

Then the Blessed One made the utterance: "Truly, Kondañña has understood, Kondañña has understood." Thus it was that Venerable Kondañña got the name, ‘Kondañña - he who understands.'

Here ends the Discourse on Setting in Motion the Wheel of the Dhamma.