Setting in Motion the Wheel of Truth, Devas Rejoice

SN 56.11
PTS: S v 420 CDB ii 1843
Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta
(Setting in Motion the Wheel of Truth)

Thus have I heard:

On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Vārāṇasī in the Deer Park at Isipatana. There he addressed the five bhikkhus:

“Bhikkhus, there are these two extremes that should not be indulged upon by one who has gone forth. What two? That which is devoted to indulging in sensual pleasure: base, vulgar, common, ignoble and unbeneficial. And that which is devoted to self-mortification: painful, ignoble and unbeneficial. Avoiding both of these extremes, the middle way realized by the Tathāgata – producing vision, producing knowledge – leads to calm, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to Nibbāna.

“And what is the middle way realized by the Tathāgata that – producing vision, producing knowledge – leads to calm, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to Nibbāna? It is just this Noble Eightfold Path; that is, right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration. This is the middle way realized by the Tathāgata that – producing vision, producing knowledge – leads to calm, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to Nibbāna.

“Now this, bhikkhus, is the noble truth of suffering: birth is suffering, aging is suffering, illness is suffering, death is suffering; sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair are suffering; association with the unpleasant is suffering; dissociation from the pleasant is suffering; not getting what is wanted is suffering – in brief, the five aggregates subject to clinging are suffering.

“And this, bhikkhus, is the noble truth of the origin of suffering: it is craving – thirsting – that makes for further becoming, accompanied by enjoyment and desire, relishing now here and now there, namely, craving for sensual pleasure, craving for becoming, and craving for non-becoming.

“And this, bhikkhus, is the noble truth of the cessation of suffering: it is the complete cessation without remainder, renunciation, relinquishment, release, and letting go of that very craving.

“And this, bhikkhus, is the noble truth of the way leading to the cessation of suffering: it is just this Noble Eightfold Path; that is, right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration.

“‘This is the noble truth of suffering’–thus, bhikkhus, vision arose, insight arose, wisdom arose, knowledge arose, illumination arose within me with regard to things never heard before. ‘As a noble truth, this suffering is to be fully comprehended’–thus, vision arose, insight arose, wisdom arose, knowledge arose, illumination arose within me with regard to things never heard before. ‘As a noble truth, this suffering has been fully comprehended’–thus, vision arose, insight arose, wisdom arose, knowledge arose, illumination arose within me with regard to things never heard before.

“‘This is the noble truth of the origin of suffering’–thus, bhikkhus, vision arose, insight arose, wisdom arose, knowledge arose, illumination arose within me with regard to things never heard before. ‘As a noble truth, this origin of suffering is to be abandoned’–thus, vision arose, insight arose, wisdom arose, knowledge arose, illumination arose within me with regard to things never heard before. ‘As a noble truth, this origin of suffering has been abandoned’–thus, vision arose, insight arose, wisdom arose, knowledge arose, illumination arose within me with regard to things never heard before.

“‘This is the noble truth of the cessation of suffering’–thus, bhikkhus, vision arose, insight arose, wisdom arose, knowledge arose, illumination arose within me with regard to things never heard before. ‘As a noble truth, this cessation of suffering is to be directly experienced’–thus, vision arose, insight arose, wisdom arose, knowledge arose, illumination arose within me with regard to things never heard before. ‘As a noble truth, this cessation of suffering has been directly experienced’–thus, vision arose, insight arose, wisdom arose, knowledge arose, illumination arose within me with regard to things never heard before.

“‘This is the noble truth of the way leading to the cessation of suffering’–thus, bhikkhus, vision arose, insight arose, wisdom arose, knowledge arose, illumination arose within me with regard to things never heard before. ‘As a noble truth, this way leading to the cessation of suffering is to be developed’–thus, vision arose, insight arose, wisdom arose, knowledge arose, illumination arose within me with regard to things never heard before. ‘As a noble truth, this way leading to the cessation of suffering has been developed’–thus, vision arose, insight arose, wisdom arose, knowledge arose, illumination arose within me with regard to things never heard before.

“And, bhikkhus, as long as this – my three-round, twelve-permutation knowledge and vision concerning these Four Noble Truths as they have come to be – was not pure, I did not claim to have directly realized the matchless, unexcelled Awakening in this world with its deities, its Māras and Brahmās, in this generation with its contemplatives and brahmins, its devas and humans. But as soon as this – my three-round, twelve-permutation knowledge and vision concerning these Four Noble Truths as they have come to be – was truly pure, then I did claim to have directly realized the matchless, unexcelled Awakening in this world with its deities, its Māras and Brahmās, in this generation with its contemplatives and brahmins, its devas and humans. Knowledge and vision arose in me: ‘Unshakable is my liberation. This is the last birth. There is now no further becoming.’”

This is what the Blessed One said. The bhikkhus were satisfied and delighted in the Blessed One’s words. And while this discourse was being given, there arose in the Venerable Kondañña the dust-free, stainless vision of truth: “All that is subject to arising is subject to cessation.”

And when the Wheel of Truth had been set in motion by the Blessed One, the earth-dwelling devas proclaimed: “The unsurpassed Wheel of Truth that no one can stop – no contemplative, no brahmin, no Māra, no Brahmā, nor anyone in the world – is set in motion by the Blessed One at Vārāṇasī, in the Deer Park at Isipatana.” Hearing these words of the earth-dwelling devas, the devas of the Four Great Kings proclaimed: “The unsurpassed Wheel of Truth that no one can stop – no contemplative, no brahmin, no Māra, no Brahmā, nor anyone in the world – is set in motion by the Blessed One at Vārāṇasī, in the Deer Park at Isipatana.” And having heard these words in the upper deva realms, the devas of the Thirty-three took it up, then the Yāma devas, then the Contented devas, then the devas Who Delight in Creating, then the devas Who Delight in the Creations of Others, and then all the inhabitants of the Brahmā realms, all proclaiming: “The unsurpassed Wheel of Truth that no one can stop – no contemplative, no brahmin, no Māra, no Brahmā, nor anyone in the world – is set in motion by the Blessed One at Vārāṇasī, in the Deer Park at Isipatana.”

Thus in that very moment, that instant, the proclamation spread as far as the Brahmā realms, and this ten-thousand world system shook, quaked and trembled, and a boundless sublime radiance surpassing the majesty of the devas appeared in the world.

Then the Blessed One uttered this joyous utterance: “The venerable Koṇḍañña has understood! The venerable Koṇḍañña has understood!” Thus it was that the Venerable Kondañña received the name Añña Kondañña – Kondañña Who Has Understood.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>