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Ajahn Thanissaro Daylong Reading “In Response to Change”

Schedule – Zoom Link & Password – Pre-Daylong Reading Assignment

Schedule

10:00 a.m. – waiting room

10:15 a.m. –  Five Precepts

10:30 a.m. – 12:00 noon – Guided meditation, Dhamma talk, and Q n’ A

12:00  noon – 2:00 – Break (eat lunch, play with the kids, pat the dog, hug the cat)

2:00 – 4:00 p.m. – Dhamma talk, and Q n’ A

Zoom link & Passcode

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Meeting ID: 858 3588 8995
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Reading Assignment (please read before daylong begins)

In Response to Change

Near Sāvatthī. Then King Pasenadi Kosala went to the Blessed One in the

middle of the day and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As

he was sitting there, the Blessed One said to him: “Well now, great king, where

are you coming from in the middle of the day?”

“Just now, lord, I was engaged in the sort of royal affairs typical of headanointed

noble-warrior kings intoxicated with the intoxication of sovereignty,

obsessed by greed for sensuality, who have attained stable control in their

country, and who rule having conquered a great sphere of territory on earth.”

“What do you think, great king? Suppose a man, trustworthy & reliable, were

to come to you from the east and on arrival would say: ‘If it please your majesty,

you should know that I come from the east. There I saw a great mountain, as

high as the clouds, coming this way, crushing all living beings (in its path). Do

whatever you think should be done.’ Then a second man were to come to you

from the west… Then a third man were to come to you from the north… Then a

fourth man were to come to you from the south and on arrival would say: ‘If it

please your majesty, you should know that I come from the south. There I saw a

great mountain, as high as the clouds, coming this way, crushing all living

beings. Do whatever you think should be done.’ If, your majesty, such a great

peril should arise, such a terrible destruction of human life—the human state

being so hard to obtain—what should be done?”

“If, lord, such a great peril should arise, such a terrible destruction of human

life—the human state being so hard to obtain—what else should be done but

Dhamma-conduct, right conduct, skillful deeds, meritorious deeds?”

“I inform you, great king, I announce to you, great king: aging & death are

rolling in on you. When aging & death are rolling in on you, what should be

done?”

“As aging & death are rolling in on me, lord, what else should be done but

Dhamma-conduct, right conduct, skillful deeds, meritorious deeds?” — SN 3:25

Once the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove,

Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Then King Pasenadi Kosala went to the Blessed One

and, on arrival, having bowed down, sat to one side. Now, at that time Queen

Mallikā died. Then a certain man went to the king and whispered in his ear:

“Your majesty, Queen Mallikā has died.” When this was said, King Pasenadi

Kosala sat there miserable, sick at heart, his shoulders drooping, his face down,

brooding, at a loss for words. Then the Blessed One saw the king sitting there

miserable, sick at heart… at a loss for words, and so said to him, “There are these

five things, great king, that cannot be gotten by a contemplative, a brahman, a

deva, a Māra, a Brahmā, or anyone at all in the world. Which five?

“‘May what is subject to aging not age.’ This is something that cannot be

gotten by a contemplative, a brahman, a deva, a Māra, a Brahmā, or anyone at all

in the world.

“‘May what is subject to illness not grow ill.’ …

“‘May what is subject to death not die.’ …

“‘May what is subject to ending not end.’ …

“‘May what is subject to destruction not be destroyed.’ This is something that

cannot be gotten by a contemplative, a brahman, a deva, a Māra, a Brahmā, or

anyone at all in the world.

“Now, it happens to an uninstructed run-of-the-mill person that something

that is subject to aging ages. With the aging of what is subject to aging, he does

not reflect: ‘It doesn’t happen only to me that what is subject to aging will age. To

the extent that there are beings—past & future, passing away & re-arising—it

happens to all of them that what is subject to aging will age. And if, with the

aging of what is subject to aging, I were to sorrow, grieve, lament, beat my

breast, & become distraught, food would not agree with me, my body would

become unattractive, my affairs would go untended, my enemies would be

gratified and my friends unhappy.’ So, with the aging of what is subject to aging,

he sorrows, grieves, laments, beats his breast, & becomes distraught. This is

called an uninstructed run-of-the-mill person pierced by the poisoned arrow of

sorrow, tormenting himself.

[Similarly when something that is subject to illness grows ill, when something

subject to death dies, when something subject to ending ends, when something

subject to destruction is destroyed.]

“Now, it happens to an instructed disciple of the noble ones that something

that is subject to aging ages. With the aging of what is subject to aging, he

reflects: ‘It doesn’t happen only to me that what is subject to aging will age. To

the extent that there are beings—past & future, passing away & re-arising—it

happens to all of them that what is subject to aging will age. And if, with the

aging of what is subject to aging, I were to sorrow, grieve, lament, beat my

breast, & become distraught, food would not agree with me, my body would

become unattractive, my affairs would go untended, my enemies would be

gratified and my friends unhappy.’ So, with the aging of what is subject to aging,

he does not sorrow, grieve, or lament, does not beat his breast or become

distraught. This is called an instructed disciple of the noble ones who has pulled

out the poisoned arrow of sorrow pierced with which the uninstructed run-ofthe-

mill person torments himself. Sorrowless, arrowless, the disciple of the noble

ones is totally unbound right within himself.

[Similarly when something that is subject to illness grows ill, when something

subject to death dies, when something subject to ending ends, when something

subject to destruction is destroyed.]

“These are the five things, great king, that cannot be gotten by a

contemplative, a brahman, a deva, a Māra, a Brahmā, or anyone at all in the

world.”

Not by sorrowing,

not by lamenting,

is any aim accomplished here,

not even a bit.

Knowing you’re sorrowing & in pain,

your enemies are gratified.

But when a sage

with a sense for determining what is his aim

doesn’t waver in the face of misfortune,

his enemies are pained,

seeing his face unchanged, as of old.

Where & however an aim is accomplished

through eulogies, chants, good sayings,

donations, & family customs,

follow them diligently there & that way.

But if you discern that your own aim

or that of others

is not gained in this way,

acquiesce (to the nature of things)

unsorrowing, with the thought:

‘What important work

am I doing now?’ — AN 5:49

“Now, based on what line of reasoning should one often reflect… that ‘I am

subject to aging, have not gone beyond aging’? There are beings who are

intoxicated with a (typical) youth’s intoxication with youth. Because of that

intoxication with youth, they conduct themselves in a bad way in body… in

speech… and in mind. But when they often reflect on that fact, that youth’s

intoxication with youth will either be entirely abandoned or grow weaker.…

“Now, based on what line of reasoning should one often reflect… that ‘I am

subject to illness, have not gone beyond illness’? There are beings who are

intoxicated with a (typical) healthy person’s intoxication with health. Because of

that intoxication with health, they conduct themselves in a bad way in body… in

speech… and in mind. But when they often reflect on that fact, that healthy

person’s intoxication with health will either be entirely abandoned or grow

weaker.…

“Now, based on what line of reasoning should one often reflect… that ‘I am

subject to death, have not gone beyond death’? There are beings who are

intoxicated with a (typical) living person’s intoxication with life. Because of that

intoxication with life, they conduct themselves in a bad way in body… in

speech… and in mind. But when they often reflect on that fact, that living

person’s intoxication with life will either be entirely abandoned or grow

weaker.…

“Now, based on what line of reasoning should one often reflect… that ‘I will

grow different, separate from all that is dear & appealing to me’? There are

beings who feel desire & passion for the things they find dear & appealing.

Because of that passion, they conduct themselves in a bad way in body… in

speech… and in mind. But when they often reflect on that fact, that desire &

passion for the things they find dear & appealing will either be entirely

abandoned or grow weaker.…

“Now, based on what line of reasoning should one often reflect… that ‘I am

the owner of actions, heir to actions, born of actions, related through actions, and

have actions as my arbitrator. Whatever I do, for good or for evil, to that will I

fall heir’? There are beings who conduct themselves in a bad way in body… in

speech… and in mind. But when they often reflect on that fact, that bad conduct

in body, speech, & mind will either be entirely abandoned or grow weaker.…

“Now, a disciple of the noble ones considers this: ‘I am not the only one

subject to aging, who has not gone beyond aging. To the extent that there are

beings—past & future, passing away & re-arising—all beings are subject to

aging, have not gone beyond aging.’ When he/she often reflects on this, the

(factors of the) path take birth. He/she sticks with that path, develops it,

cultivates it. As he/she sticks with that path, develops it, & cultivates it, the

fetters are abandoned, the obsessions destroyed.

“Further, a disciple of the noble ones considers this: ‘I am not the only one

subject to illness, who has not gone beyond illness’.… ‘I am not the only one

subject to death, who has not gone beyond death’.… ‘I am not the only one who

will grow different, separate from all that is dear & appealing to me’.…

“A disciple of the noble ones considers this: ‘I am not the only one who is the

owner of actions, heir to actions, born of actions, related through actions, and

have actions as my arbitrator; who—whatever I do, for good or for evil, to that

will I fall heir. To the extent that there are beings—past & future, passing away &

re-arising—all beings are the owners of actions, heir to actions, born of actions,

related through actions, and have actions as their arbitrator. Whatever they do,

for good or for evil, to that will they fall heir.’ When he/she often reflects on this,

the (factors of the) path take birth. He/she sticks with that path, develops it,

cultivates it. As he/she sticks with that path, develops it, & cultivates it, the

fetters are abandoned, the obsessions destroyed.” — AN 5:57

“From an inconceivable beginning comes transmigration. A beginning point

is not evident, though beings hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving are

transmigrating & wandering on. What do you think, monks? Which is greater,

the tears you have shed while transmigrating & wandering this long, long time—

crying & weeping from being joined with what is displeasing, being separated

from what is pleasing—or the water in the four great oceans?”

“As we understand the Dhamma taught to us by the Blessed One, this is the

greater: the tears we have shed while transmigrating & wandering this long, long

time—crying & weeping from being joined with what is displeasing, being

separated from what is pleasing—not the water in the four great oceans.”

“Excellent, monks. Excellent. It is excellent that you thus understand the

Dhamma taught by me.

“This is the greater: the tears you have shed while transmigrating &

wandering this long, long time—crying & weeping from being joined with what

is displeasing, being separated from what is pleasing—not the water in the four

great oceans.

“Long have you (repeatedly) experienced the death of a mother. The tears

you have shed over the death of a mother while transmigrating & wandering this

long, long time—crying & weeping from being joined with what is displeasing,

being separated from what is pleasing—are greater than the water in the four

great oceans.

“Long have you (repeatedly) experienced the death of a father… the death of

a brother… the death of a sister… the death of a son… the death of a daughter…

loss with regard to relatives… loss with regard to wealth… loss with regard to

disease. The tears you have shed over loss with regard to disease while

transmigrating & wandering this long, long time—crying & weeping from being

joined with what is displeasing, being separated from what is pleasing—are

greater than the water in the four great oceans.

“Why is that? From an inconceivable beginning comes the wandering-on. A

beginning point is not discernible, though beings hindered by ignorance and

fettered by craving are transmigrating & wandering on. Long have you thus

experienced stress, experienced pain, experienced loss, swelling the cemeteries—

enough to become disenchanted with all fabricated things, enough to become

dispassionate, enough to be released.” — SN 15:3

“And what are the six kinds of house-based happiness? The happiness that

arises when one regards as an acquisition the acquisition of forms cognizable by

the eye—agreeable, pleasing, charming, endearing, connected with worldly

baits—or when one recalls the previous acquisition of such forms after they have

passed, ceased, & changed: That is called house-based happiness. [Similarly with

sounds, smells, tastes, tactile sensations, & ideas.]

“And what are the six kinds of renunciation-based happiness? The happiness

that arises when—experiencing the inconstancy of those very forms, their

change, fading, & cessation—one sees with right discernment as it has come to be

that all forms, both before and now, are inconstant, stressful, subject to change:

That is called renunciation-based happiness. [Similarly with sounds, smells,

tastes, tactile sensations, & ideas.]

“And what are the six kinds of house-based distress? The distress that arises

when one regards as a non-acquisition the non-acquisition of forms cognizable

by the eye—agreeable, pleasing, charming, endearing, connected with worldly

baits—or when one recalls the previous non-acquisition of such forms after they

have passed, ceased, & changed: That is called house-based distress. [Similarly

with sounds, smells, tastes, tactile sensations, & ideas.]

“And what are the six kinds of renunciation-based distress? The distress

coming from the longing that arises in one who is filled with longing for the

unexcelled liberations when—experiencing the inconstancy of those very forms,

their change, fading, & cessation—he sees with right discernment as it has come

to be that all forms, both before and now, are inconstant, stressful, subject to

change and he is filled with this longing: ‘O when will I enter & remain in the

dimension that the noble ones now enter & remain in?’ This is called

renunciation-based distress. [Similarly with sounds, smells, tastes, tactile

sensations, & ideas.]

“And what are the six kinds of house-based equanimity? The equanimity that

arises when a foolish, deluded person—a run-of-the-mill, untaught person who

has not conquered his limitations or the results of action & who is blind to

danger4—sees a form with the eye. Such equanimity does not go beyond the

form, which is why it is called house-based equanimity. [Similarly with sounds,

smells, tastes, tactile sensations, & ideas.]

“And what are the six kinds of renunciation-based equanimity? The

equanimity that arises when—experiencing the inconstancy of those very forms,

their change, fading, & cessation—one sees with right discernment as it has come

to be that all forms, both before and now, are inconstant, stressful, subject to

change: This equanimity goes beyond form, which is why it is called

renunciation-based equanimity. [Similarly with sounds, smells, tastes, tactile

sensations, & ideas.]

“‘The thirty-six emotions to which beings are attached should be known’:

Thus was it said. And in reference to this was it said.

“‘With regard to them, depending on this, abandon that’: Thus was it said.

And in reference to what was it said?

“Here, by depending & relying on the six kinds of renunciation-based

happiness, abandon & transcend the six kinds of house-based happiness. Such is

their abandoning, such is their transcending. By depending & relying on the six

kinds of renunciation-based distress, abandon & transcend the six kinds of

house-based distress. Such is their abandoning, such is their transcending. By

depending & relying on the six kinds of renunciation-based equanimity,

abandon & transcend the six kinds of house-based equanimity. Such is their

abandoning, such their transcending.

“By depending & relying on the six kinds of renunciation-based happiness,

abandon & transcend the six kinds of renunciation-based distress. Such is their

abandoning, such is their transcending. By depending & relying on the six kinds

of renunciation-based equanimity, abandon & transcend the six kinds of

renunciation-based happiness. Such is their abandoning, such their

transcending.” — MN 137

Ven. Sāriputta said, “Friends, just now as I was withdrawn in seclusion, this

train of thought arose to my awareness: ‘Is there anything in the world with

whose change or alteration there would arise within me sorrow, lamentation,

pain, distress, & despair?’ Then the thought occurred to me: ‘There is nothing in

the world with whose change or alteration there would arise within me sorrow,

lamentation, pain, distress, & despair.’”

When this was said, Ven.  nanda said to Ven. Sāriputta, “Sāriputta my

friend, even if there were change & alteration in the Teacher would there arise

within you no sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, or despair?”

“Even if there were change & alteration in the Teacher, my friend, there

would arise within me no sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, or despair. Still, I

would have this thought: ‘What a great being, of great might, of great prowess,

has disappeared! For if the Blessed One were to remain for a long time, that

would be for the benefit of many people, for the happiness of many people, out

of sympathy for the world; for the welfare, benefit, & happiness of devas &

human beings.’”

“Surely,” [said Ven.  nanda,] “it’s because Ven. Sāriputta’s I-making & minemaking

and conceit-obsessions have long been well uprooted that even if there

were change & alteration in the Teacher, there would arise within him no

sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, or despair.” — SN 21:2

So Ven.  nanda & Cunda the novice went to the Blessed One and, on arrival,

having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As they were sitting there, Ven.

 nanda said to the Blessed One, “Lord, just now Cunda the novice said to me,

‘Venerable sir, Ven. Sāriputta has totally unbound. Here are his bowl & robes.’ It

was as if my body were drugged, I lost my bearings, things weren’t clear to me,

on hearing that Ven. Sāriputta had totally unbound.”

“But,  nanda, when he totally unbound, did Sāriputta take the aggregate of

virtue along with him? Did he take the aggregate of concentration…

discernment… release… the aggregate of knowledge & vision of release along

with him?”

“No, lord, when he totally unbound, Ven. Sāriputta didn’t take the aggregate

of virtue… concentration… discernment… release… the aggregate of knowledge

& vision of release along with him. It’s just that he was my instructor &

counselor, one who exhorted, urged, roused, & encouraged me. He was tireless

in teaching the Dhamma, a help to his companions in the holy life. We miss the

nourishment of his Dhamma, the wealth of his Dhamma, his help in the

Dhamma.”

“But,  nanda, haven’t I already taught you the state of growing different

with regard to all things dear & beloved, the state of becoming separate, the state

of becoming otherwise? What else is there to expect? That of anything born,

become, fabricated, subject to disintegration, you might say, ‘O, may it not

disintegrate’? The possibility doesn’t exist.” — SN 47:13

“Any desire, passion, delight, or craving for form… feeling… perception…

fabrications…consciousness: When one is caught up [satta] there, tied up [visatta]

there, one is said to be ‘a being [satta].’” — SN 23:2

“Form that’s inconstant, stressful, subject to change is agreed upon by the

wise as existing in the world, and I too say, ‘It exists.’

“Feeling… Perception… Fabrications… Consciousness that’s inconstant,

stressful, subject to change is agreed upon by the wise as existing in the world,

and I too say, ‘It exists.’” — SN 22:94

“Just as when boys or girls are playing with little mud houses: As long as

they are not free from passion, desire, love, thirst, fever, & craving for those little

mud houses, that’s how long they have fun with those mud houses, enjoy them,

treasure them, feel possessive of them. But when they become free from passion,

desire, love, thirst, fever, & craving for those little mud houses, then they smash

them, scatter them, demolish them with their hands or feet and make them unfit

for play.

“In the same way, Rādha, you too should smash, scatter, & demolish form,

and make it unfit for play. Practice for the ending of craving for form. [And

similarly with the other aggregates.]” — SN 23:2

Through the round of many births I roamed

without reward,

without rest,

seeking the house-builder.

Painful is birth again

& again.

House-builder, you’re seen!

You will not build a house again.

All your rafters broken,

the ridge pole dismantled,

immersed in dismantling, the mind

has attained the end of craving. — Dhp 153–154

AFTERNOON SESSION

“And what is the result of stress? There are some cases in which a person

overcome with pain, his mind exhausted, grieves, mourns, laments, beats his

breast, & becomes bewildered. Or one overcome with pain, his mind exhausted,

comes to search outside, ‘Who knows a way or two to stop this pain?’ I tell you,

monks, that stress results either in bewilderment or in search. This is called the

result of stress.” — AN 6:63

“This is the way leading to discernment: when visiting a contemplative or

brahman, to ask: ‘What is skillful, venerable sir? What is unskillful? What is

blameworthy? What is blameless? What should be cultivated? What should not

be cultivated? What, having been done by me, will be for my long-term harm &

suffering? Or what, having been done by me, will be for my long-term welfare &

happiness?’” — MN 135

“Luminous, monks, is the mind. And it is freed from incoming defilements.

The well-instructed disciple of the noble ones discerns that as it has come to be,

which is why I tell you that—for the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones—

there is development of the mind.” — AN 1:53

“I don’t envision a single thing that is as quick to reverse itself as the mind—

so much so that there is no satisfactory simile for how quick to reverse itself it

is.” — AN 1:49

“And how is mindfulness the governing principle? The mindfulness that ‘I

will make complete any training with regard to good conduct that is not yet

complete, or I will protect with discernment any training with regard to good

conduct that is complete’ is well established right within. The mindfulness that ‘I

will make complete any training with regard to the basics of the holy life that is

not yet complete, or I will protect with discernment any training with regard to

the basics of the holy life that is complete’ is well established right within. The

mindfulness that ‘I will scrutinize with discernment any Dhamma that is not yet

scrutinized, or I will protect with discernment any Dhamma that has been

scrutinized’ is well established right within. The mindfulness that ‘I will touch

through release any Dhamma that is not yet touched, or I will protect with

discernment any Dhamma that has been touched’ is well established right

within.” — AN 4:245

So King Koravya sat down on the seat prepared. As he was sitting there, he

said to Ven. Raṭṭhapāla, “There are cases where, having suffered these four kinds

of loss, men shave off their hair & beard, put on the ochre robe, and go forth

from the home life into homelessness. Which four? Loss through aging, loss

through illness, loss of wealth, & loss of relatives.… But Master Raṭṭhapāla has

suffered none of these. What did he know or see or hear that Master Raṭṭhapāla

went forth from the home life into homelessness?”

“Great king, there are four Dhamma summaries stated by the Blessed One

who knows & sees, worthy & rightly self-awakened. Having known & seen &

heard them, I went forth from the home life into homelessness. Which four?

“‘The world7 is swept away. It does not endure’: This is the first Dhamma

summary stated by the Blessed One who knows & sees, worthy & rightly selfawakened.

Having known & seen & heard it, I went forth from the home life into

homelessness.

“‘The world is without shelter, without protector’: This is the second

Dhamma summary.…

“‘The world is without ownership. One has to pass on, leaving everything

behind’: This is the third Dhamma summary.…

“‘The world is insufficient, insatiable, a slave to craving’: This is the fourth

Dhamma summary.…

“These, great king, are the four Dhamma summaries stated by the Blessed

One who knows & sees, worthy & rightly self-awakened. Having known & seen

& heard them, I went forth from the home life into homelessness.”

“Master Raṭṭhapāla, you say, ‘The world is swept away. It does not endure.’

Now how is the meaning of this statement to be understood?”

“What do you think, great king? When you were twenty or twenty-five years

old—an expert elephant rider, an expert horseman, an expert charioteer, an

expert archer, an expert swordsman—were you strong in arm & strong in thigh,

fit, & seasoned in warfare?”

“Yes, Master Raṭṭhapāla, when I was twenty or twenty-five years old… I was

strong in arm & strong in thigh, fit, & seasoned in warfare. It was as if I had

supernormal power. I do not see anyone who was my equal in strength.”

“And what do you think, great king? Are you even now as strong in arm &

strong in thigh, as fit, & as seasoned in warfare?”

“Not at all, Master Raṭṭhapāla. I’m now aged, old, elderly, advanced in years,

having come to the last stage of life, 80 years old. Sometimes, thinking, ‘I will

place my foot here,’ I place it somewhere else.”

“It was in reference to this, great king, that the Blessed One who knows &

sees, worthy & rightly self-awakened, said: ‘The world is swept away. It does not

endure.’ Having known & seen & heard this, I went forth from the home life into

homelessness.”

“It’s amazing, Master Raṭṭhapāla. It’s astounding, how well that has been

said by the Blessed One who knows & sees, worthy & rightly self-awakened:

‘The world is swept away. It does not endure.’ For the world really is swept

away, Master Raṭṭhapāla. It does not endure.

“Now, in this royal court there are elephant troops & cavalry & chariot troops

& infantry that will serve to defend us from dangers. And yet you say, ‘The

world is without shelter, without protector.’ How is the meaning of this

statement to be understood?”

“What do you think, great king? Do you have any recurring illness?”

“Yes, Master Raṭṭhapāla, I have a recurring wind-illness.8 Sometimes my

friends & advisors, relatives & blood-kinsmen, stand around me saying, ‘This

time King Koravya will die. This time King Koravya will die.’”

“And what do you think, great king? Can you say to your friends & advisors,

relatives & blood-kinsmen, ‘My friends & advisors, relatives & blood-kinsmen

are commanded: all of you who are present, share out this pain so that I may feel

less pain’? Or do you have to feel that pain all alone?”

“Oh, no, Master Raṭṭhapāla, I can’t say to my friends & advisors, relatives &

blood-kinsmen, ‘All of you who are present, share out this pain so that I may feel

less pain.’ I have to feel that pain all alone.”

“It was in reference to this, great king, that the Blessed One who knows &

sees, worthy & rightly self-awakened, said: ‘The world is without shelter,

without protector.’ Having known & seen & heard this, I went forth from the

home life into homelessness.”

“It’s amazing, Master Raṭṭhapāla. It’s astounding, how well that has been

said by the Blessed One who knows & sees, worthy & rightly self-awakened:

‘The world is without shelter, without protector.’ For the world really is without

shelter, Master Raṭṭhapāla. It is without protector.

“Now, in this royal court there is a great deal of gold & silver stashed away

underground & in attic vaults. And yet you say, ‘The world is without

ownership. One has to pass on, leaving everything behind.’ How is the meaning

of this statement to be understood?”

“What do you think, great king? As you now enjoy yourself endowed &

replete with the pleasures of the five senses, can you say, ‘Even in the afterlife I

will enjoy myself in the same way, endowed & replete with the very same

pleasures of the five senses’? Or will this wealth fall to others, while you pass on

in accordance with your kamma?”

“Oh, no, Master Raṭṭhapāla, I can’t say, ‘Even in the afterlife I will enjoy

myself in the same way, endowed & replete with the very same pleasures of the

five senses.’ This wealth will fall to others, while I pass on in accordance with my

kamma.”

“It was in reference to this, great king, that the Blessed One who knows &

sees, worthy & rightly self-awakened, said: ‘The world is without ownership.

One has to pass on, leaving everything behind.’ Having known & seen & heard

this, I went forth from the home life into homelessness.”

“It’s amazing, Master Raṭṭhapāla. It’s astounding, how well that has been

said by the Blessed One who knows & sees, worthy & rightly self-awakened:

‘The world is without ownership. One has to pass on, leaving everything

behind.’ For the world really is without ownership, Master Raṭṭhapāla. One has

to pass on, leaving everything behind.

“Now, Master Raṭṭhapāla, you say, ‘The world is insufficient, insatiable, a

slave to craving.’ How is the meaning of this statement to be understood?”

“What do you think, great king? Do you now rule over the prosperous

country of Kuru?”

“That is so, Master Raṭṭhapāla. I rule over the prosperous country of Kuru.”

“What do you think, great king? Suppose a trustworthy, reliable man of

yours were to come to you from the east. On arrival he would say to you, ‘May it

please your majesty to know, I have come from the east. There I saw a great

country, powerful & prosperous, populous & crowded with people. Plenty are

the elephant troops there, plenty the cavalry troops, chariot troops, & infantry

troops. Plenty is the ivory-work there, plenty the gold & silver, both worked &

unworked. Plenty are the women for the taking. It is possible, with the forces you

now have, to conquer it. Conquer it, great king!’ What would you do?”

“Having conquered it, Master Raṭṭhapāla, I would rule over it.”

“Now what do you think, great king? Suppose a trustworthy, reliable man of

yours were to come to you from the west… the north… the south… the other

side of the ocean. On arrival he would say to you, ‘May it please your majesty to

know, I have come from the other side of the ocean. There I saw a great country,

powerful & prosperous, populous & crowded with people. Plenty are the

elephant troops there, plenty the cavalry troops, chariot troops, & infantry

troops. Plenty is the ivory-work there, plenty the gold & silver, both worked &

unworked. Plenty are the women for the taking. It is possible, with the forces you

now have, to conquer it. Conquer it, great king!’ What would you do?”

“Having conquered it, Master Raṭṭhapāla, I would rule over it, too.”

“It was in reference to this, great king, that the Blessed One who knows &

sees, worthy & rightly self-awakened, said: ‘The world is insufficient, insatiable,

a slave to craving.’ Having known & seen & heard this, I went forth from the

home life into homelessness.”

“It’s amazing, Master Raṭṭhapāla. It’s astounding, how well that has been

said by the Blessed One who knows & sees, worthy & rightly self-awakened:

‘The world is insufficient, insatiable, a slave to craving.’ For the world really is

insufficient, Master Raṭṭhapāla. It’s insatiable, a slave to craving.” — MN 82

“And what is the faculty of discernment? There is the case where a monk, a

disciple of the noble ones, is discerning, endowed with discernment of arising &

passing away—noble, penetrative, leading to the right ending of stress.” — SN

48:9

“‘Stress should be known. The cause by which stress comes into play should

be known. The diversity in stress should be known. The result of stress should be

known. The cessation of stress should be known. The path of practice for the

cessation of stress should be known.’ …

“Birth is stress, aging is stress, death is stress; sorrow, lamentation, pain,

distress, & despair are stress; association with what is not loved is stress,

separation from what is loved is stress, not getting what is wanted is stress. In

short, the five clinging-aggregates are stress.

“And what is the cause by which stress comes into play? Craving is the cause

by which stress comes into play.

“And what is the diversity in stress? There is major stress & minor, slowly

fading & quickly fading. This is called the diversity in stress.

“And what is the result of stress? There are some cases in which a person

overcome with pain, his mind exhausted, grieves, mourns, laments, beats his

breast, & becomes bewildered. Or one overcome with pain, his mind exhausted,

comes to search outside, ‘Who knows a way or two to stop this pain?’ I tell you,

monks, that stress results either in bewilderment or in search. This is called the

result of stress.

“And what is the cessation of stress? From the cessation of craving is the

cessation of stress; and just this noble eightfold path—right view, right resolve,

right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right

concentration—is the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress.

“Now when a disciple of the noble ones discerns stress in this way, the cause

by which stress comes into play in this way, the diversity in stress in this way,

the result of stress in this way, the cessation of stress in this way, & the path of

practice leading to the cessation of stress in this way, then he discerns this

penetrative holy life as the cessation of stress.…

“This is the penetrative explanation…” — AN 6:63

So Ven. Assaji spoke this Dhamma-explanation to Sāriputta the wanderer:

“Whatever phenomena arise from cause:

their cause

& their cessation.

Such is the teaching of the Tathāgata,

the Great Contemplative.”

Then, when he had heard this Dhamma-explanation, the dustless, stainless

Dhamma eye arose for Sāriputta the wanderer: “Whatever is subject to origination

is all subject to cessation.”

Then Sāriputta the wanderer went to Moggallāna the wanderer. Moggallāna

the wanderer saw Sāriputta the wanderer coming from afar and, on seeing him,

said to him, “Clear, my friend, are your faculties—pure your complexion, and

bright. Have you attained the deathless, my friend?”

“Yes, my friend, I have attained the deathless.” — Mv I.23.5