Back to BuddhaSutra.com

Tittha Sutta

Sectarians

Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
For free distribution only

"Monks, there are these three sectarian guilds that -- when cross-examined, pressed for reasons, and rebuked by wise people -- even though they may explain otherwise, remain stuck in a doctrine of inaction. Which three?

"There are priests and contemplatives who hold this teaching, hold this view: 'whatever a person experiences -- pleasant, painful, or neither pleasant nor painful -- that is all caused by what was done in the past.' There are priests and contemplatives who hold this teaching, hold this view: 'whatever a person experiences -- pleasant, painful, or neither pleasant nor painful -- that is all caused by a supreme being's act of creation.' There are priests and contemplatives who hold this teaching, hold this view: 'whatever a person experiences -- pleasant, painful, or neither pleasant nor painful -- that is all without cause and without condition.'

"Having approached the priests and contemplatives who hold that... whatever a person experiences... is all caused by what was done in the past,' I said to them: 'Is it true that you hold that... whatever a person experiences... is all caused by what was done in the past?' Thus asked by me, they admitted, 'Yes.' Then I said to them, 'Then in that case, a person is a killer of living beings because of what was done in the past. A person is a thief... unchaste... a liar... a divisive speaker... a harsh speaker... an idle chatterer... greedy... malicious... a holder of wrong views because of what was done in the past.' When one falls back on what was done in the past as being essential, monks, there is no desire, no effort [at the thought], 'This should be done. This shouldn't be done.' When one can't pin down as a truth or reality what should and shouldn't be done, one dwells bewildered and unprotected. One cannot righteously refer to oneself as a contemplative. This was my first righteous refutation of those priests and contemplative who hold to such teachings, such views.

"Having approached the priests and contemplatives who hold that... whatever a person experiences... is all caused by a supreme being's act of creation,' I said to them: 'Is it true that you hold that... whatever a person experiences... is all caused by a supreme being's act of creation?' Thus asked by me, they admitted, 'Yes.' Then I said to them, 'Then in that case, a person is a killer of living beings because of a supreme being's act of creation. A person is a thief... unchaste... a liar... a divisive speaker... a harsh speaker... an idle chatterer... greedy... malicious... a holder of wrong views because of a supreme being's act of creation.' When one falls back on creation by a supreme being as being essential, monks, there is no desire, no effort [at the thought], 'This should be done. This shouldn't be done.' When one can't pin down as a truth or reality what should and shouldn't be done, one dwells bewildered and unprotected. One cannot righteously refer to oneself as a contemplative. This was my second righteous refutation of those priests and contemplative who hold to such teachings, such views.

"Having approached the priests and contemplatives who hold that... whatever a person experiences... is all without cause, without condition,' I said to them: 'Is it true that you hold that... whatever a person experiences... is all without cause, without condition?' Thus asked by me, they admitted, 'Yes.' Then I said to them, 'Then in that case, a person is a killer of living beings without cause, without condition. A person is a thief... unchaste... a liar... a divisive speaker... a harsh speaker... an idle chatterer... greedy... malicious... a holder of wrong views without cause, without condition.' When one falls back on lack of cause and lack of condition as being essential, monks, there is no desire, no effort [at the thought], 'This should be done. This shouldn't be done.' When one can't pin down as a truth or reality what should and shouldn't be done, one dwells bewildered and unprotected. One cannot righteously refer to oneself as a contemplative. This was my third righteous refutation of those priests and contemplative who hold to such teachings, such views.

"These are the three sectarian guilds that -- when cross-examined, pressed for reasons, and rebuked by wise people -- even though they may explain otherwise, remain stuck in inaction.

"But this Dhamma taught by me is un-refuted, undefiled, blameless, not faulted by knowledgeable priests and contemplatives. And which Dhamma taught by me is un-refuted, undefiled, blameless, not faulted by knowledgeable priests and contemplatives? 'There are these six properties' is a Dhamma taught by me that is un-refuted, undefiled, blameless, not faulted by knowledgeable priests and contemplatives. 'There are these six media of sensory contact' is a Dhamma taught by me that is un-refuted, undefiled, blameless, not faulted by knowledgeable priests and contemplatives. 'There are these eighteen explorations for the intellect' is a Dhamma taught by me that is un-refuted, undefiled, blameless, not faulted by knowledgeable priests and contemplatives. 'There are these four noble truths' is a Dhamma taught by me that is un-refuted, undefiled, blameless, not faulted by knowledgeable priests and contemplatives.

"'"There are these six properties" is a Dhamma taught by me that is un-refuted, undefiled, blameless, not faulted by knowledgeable priests and contemplatives': Thus was it said. And in reference to what was it said? These are the six properties: earth-property, liquid-property, fire-property, wind-property, space-property, consciousness-property. '"There are these six properties" is a Dhamma taught by me that is un-refuted, undefiled, blameless, not faulted by knowledgeable priests and contemplatives': Thus was it said. And in reference to this was it said.

"'"There are these six media of sensory contact" is a Dhamma taught by me that is un-refuted, undefiled, blameless, not faulted by knowledgeable priests and contemplatives': Thus was it said. And in reference to what was it said? These are the six media of sensory contact: the eye as a medium of sensory contact, the ear as a medium of sensory contact, the nose as a medium of sensory contact, the tongue as a medium of sensory contact, the body as a medium of sensory contact, the intellect as a medium of sensory contact. '"There are these six media of sensory contact" is a Dhamma taught by me that is un-refuted, undefiled, blameless, not faulted by knowledgeable priests and contemplatives': Thus was it said. And in reference to this was it said.

"'"There are these eighteen explorations for the intellect" is a Dhamma taught by me that is un-refuted, undefiled, blameless, not faulted by knowledgeable priests and contemplatives': Thus was it said. And in reference to what was it said? Seeing a form via the eye, one explores a form that can act as the basis for happiness, one explores a form that can act as the basis for unhappiness, one explores a form that can act as the basis for equanimity. Hearing a sound via the ear... Smelling an aroma via the nose... Tasting a flavor via the tongue... Feeling a tactile sensation via the body... Cognizing an idea via the intellect, one explores an idea that can act as the basis for happiness, one explores an idea that can act as the basis for unhappiness, one explores an idea that can act as the basis for equanimity. '"There are these eighteen explorations for the intellect" is a Dhamma taught by me that is un-refuted, undefiled, blameless, not faulted by knowledgeable priests and contemplatives': Thus was it said. And in reference to this was it said.

"'"There are these four noble truths" is a Dhamma taught by me that is un-refuted, undefiled, blameless, not faulted by knowledgeable priests and contemplatives': Thus was it said. And in reference to what was it said?

"Sustained by/clinging to the six properties, there is an alighting of an embryo. There being an alighting, there is name-and-form. From name-and-form as a requisite condition come the six sense media. From the six sense media as a requisite condition comes contact. From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling. To one experiencing feeling I declare, 'This is stress.' I declare, 'This is the origination of stress.' I declare, 'This is the cessation of stress.' I declare, 'This is the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress.'

"And what is the noble truth of stress? Birth is stress, aging is stress, death is stress; sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, and 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. This is called the noble truth of stress.

"And what is the noble truth of the origination of stress?

"From ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrications.
From fabrications as a requisite condition comes consciousness.
From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-and-form.
From name-and-form as a requisite condition come the six sense media.
From the six sense media as a requisite condition comes contact.
From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling.
From feeling as a requisite condition comes craving.
From craving as a requisite condition comes clinging/sustenance.
From clinging/sustenance as a requisite condition comes becoming.
From becoming as a requisite condition comes birth.
From birth as a requisite condition, then old age and death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, and despair come into play. Such is the origination of this entire mass of stress and suffering.

"This is called the noble truth of the origination of stress.

"And what is the noble truth of the cessation of stress?

"From the remainder-less fading and cessation of that very ignorance comes the cessation of fabrications.
From the cessation of fabrications comes the cessation of consciousness.
From the cessation of consciousness comes the cessation of name-and-form.
From the cessation of name-and-form comes the cessation of the six sense media.
From the cessation of the six sense media comes the cessation of contact.
From the cessation of contact comes the cessation of feeling.
From the cessation of feeling comes the cessation of craving.
From the cessation of craving comes the cessation of clinging/sustenance.
From the cessation of clinging/sustenance comes the cessation of becoming.
From the cessation of becoming comes the cessation of birth.
From the cessation of birth, then old age and death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, and despair all cease. Such is the cessation of this entire mass of stress and suffering.

"This is called the noble truth of the cessation of stress.

"And what is the noble truth of the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress? Just this noble eightfold path: right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. This is called the noble truth of the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress.

"'"There are these four noble truths" is a Dhamma taught by me that is un-refuted, undefiled, blameless, not faulted by knowledgeable priests and contemplatives': Thus was it said. And in reference to this was it said."



Back to BuddhaSutra.com