|How did the prince become the Buddha?|
"I thought, 'If I were to claim to be completely fasting while these devas were infusing subtle nourishment through my pores, I would be lying.' So I dismissed them, saying, 'Enough.'
"I thought, 'Suppose I were to take only a little food at a time, only a handful of bean (dhal) soup, lentil soup, vetch soup, or pea soup.' So I took only a little food at a time, only a handful of bean soup, lentil soup, vetch soup, or pea soup. My body became extremely emaciated. From eating so little, my limbs became like the jointed segments of vine stems or bamboo stems...
"'My backside became like a camel's hoof... My spine stood out like a string of beads... My ribs jutted out like the jutting rafters of an old, run down barn... The gleam of my eyes appeared to be sunk deep in their sockets like the gleam of water deep in a well... My scalp shriveled and withered like a green bitter gourd, shriveled and withered in the heat and the wind... The skin of my belly became so stuck to my spine that when I touched my belly, I grabbed hold of my spine. And when I touched my spine, I grabbed hold of the skin of my belly...
"'If I urinated or defecated, I fell over on my face right there... From my eating so little, if I tried to ease my body by rubbing my limbs, the hair — shriveled at the root — fell from my body as I rubbed from eating so little.
"People seeing me would say, 'The wandering ascetic Gautama is black.' Others would say, 'He isn't black, he's brown.' Others would say, 'He is neither black nor brown, he's golden skinned.' So much had the clear, bright color of my skin deteriorated from eating so little.
"I thought, 'Whatever Brahmins or wandering ascetics in the past have felt painful, racking, piercing feelings due to their striving, this is the utmost. None have been greater than this. Whatever Brahmins or wandering ascetics in the future will feel painful, racking, piercing feelings due to striving, this is the utmost. None will be greater than this.
"'Whatever Brahmins or wandering ascetics in the present are feeling painful, racking, piercing feelings due to striving, this is the utmost. None is greater than this. But with this racking practice of austerities I have not attained any superior human state, any distinction in knowledge or vision worthy of the noble [enlightened] ones. Could there be another path to enlightenment?'
|Wandering and wandering|
"I took solid food, rice and porridge. Now five ascetics had been attending on me thinking, 'If the wandering ascetic Gautama achieves some higher state, he will tell us.'
"But when they saw me taking solid food — rice and porridge — they were disgusted and left me thinking, 'He is living luxuriously. He has abandoned his exertion and is backsliding into luxurious living.'
"With the stilling of applied and sustained attention, I entered and remained in the second absorption characterized by rapture and pleasure born of concentration, unification (coherence) of mind, free of applied and sustained attention — internal assurance.
"But the pleasant feeling that arose in this way did not invade my mind or remain there. With the abandoning of pleasure and pain — as with the earlier disappearance of elation and distress — I entered and remained in the fourth absorption characterized by purity of equanimity and mindfulness, beyond pleasure and pain. But the pleasant [neutral] feeling that arose in this way did not invade my mind or remain there.
|Light arose, knowledge arose!|
- who engaged in unskillful conduct of body, speech, and mind
- who reviled the noble ones
- held wrong views, and
- undertook actions (karma) under the influence of wrong views
- who engaged in skillful conduct of body, speech, and mind
- who did not revile the noble ones
- who held right views and undertook actions (karma) under the influence of right views
The mental defilements
|Stuck in mud and defiled, we called it fun.|
- 'This is suffering (disappointment, dukkha)…
- This is its origin...
- This is its cessation...
- This is the way (the path) leading to its cessation...
"I recall having taught the Dharma to an assembly of many hundreds, and yet each one of them assumed, 'The wandering ascetic Gautama is teaching the Dharma just to me [as if it were an attack or criticism],' but it should not be seen this way.
"The Tathagata [the "One Arrived at Things Just the Way They Are"] rightly teaches them the Dharma simply for the purpose of imparting wisdom [so that the liberating knowledge and vision of hearers may arise].
"At the end of that very talk, mind was inwardly steadied, settled, concentrated, and unified on the same object of concentration as before, on which was almost constantly dwelled."
Saccaka said (with some sarcasm): "That is quite believable for Master Gautama, as would be the case for one who is worthy and rightly self-enlightened. But does the Master Gautama recall sleeping during the day?"
"In whomever the effluents that defile, that lead to renewed becoming, that give rise to trouble, that ripen in suffering, and lead to future rebirth, aging, and death are abandoned, that person I call undeluded. For it is from abandoning the defilements that one is undeluded.
|Palmyra tree stumps will not grow again.|
"Just as a palmyra cut off at the crown is incapable of further growth, in the same way in the Tathagata the effluents that defile, that lead to renewed becoming, that give rise to trouble, that ripen in suffering, and lead to future rebirth, aging, and death have been abandoned, their roots destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of further becoming, not destined for future reappearance."
|The Buddha's golden skin brightened.|
"I recall engaging Purana Kassapa in debate. He, when engaged in debate by me, spoke evasively and led the discussion astray, displayed irritation, aversion, and upset.
|Bhikkhu Bodhi smiles in LA (WQ)|
"[They], when engaged in debate by me, spoke evasively and led the discussion astray, displayed irritation, aversion, and upset.
"But when Master Gautama is addressed rudely again and again, is assailed by presumptuous courses of speech, the color of his skin brightens, the color of his face clears, as would be the case with one who is worthy and rightly fully enlightened.
- 4. The sutras do not record what happened to Saccaka after this conversation. The Commentary, however, states that he was reborn many years later in Sri Lanka, where he became an arhat.