seeking the path
exalted—I mean the condition of being a member of the Order!’ ‘Venerable Någasena, this subtle problem has been thoroughly unravelled by your powerful and great wisdom. No one else could solve it so unless he were wise as you.’ Milindapañha IV 1 67. ‘Venerable Någasena, your people say that everything which a Tathågata has to accomplish that had the Blessed One already carried out when he sat at the foot of the Tree of Wisdom. There was then nothing that he had yet to do, nothing that he had to add to what he had already done. But then there is also talk of his having immediately afterwards remained plunged for three months in ecstatic contemplation. If the first statement be correct, then the second must be false. And if the second be right, then the first must be wrong. There is no need of any contemplation to him who has already accomplished his task. It is the man who still has something left to do, who has to think about it. It is the sick man who has need of medicine, not the healthy; the hungry man who has need of food, not the man whose hunger is quenched. This too is a double-headed dilemma, and you have to solve it!’ 68. ‘Both statements, O king, are true. Contemplation has many virtues. All the Tathågatas attained, in contemplation, to Buddhahood, and practised it in the recollection of its good qualities. And they did so in the same way as a man who had received high office from a king would, in the recollection of its advantages, of the prosperity he enjoyed by means of it, remain constantly in attendance on that king—in the same way as a man who, having been afflicted and pained with a dire disease, and having recovered his health by the use of medicine, would use the same medicine again and again, calling to mind its virtue.’ 69. ‘And there are, O king, these twenty and eight good qualities of meditation in the perception of which the Tathågatas devoted themselves to it. And which are they? Meditation preserves him who meditates, it gives him long life, and endows him with power, it cleanses him from faults, it removes from him any bad reputation giving him a good name, it destroys discontent in him filling him with content, it releases him from all fear endowing him with confidence, it removes sloth far from him filling him with zeal, it takes away lust and illwill and dullness, it puts an end to pride, it breaks down all doubt, it makes his heart to be at peace, it softens his mind, it makes him glad, it makes him grave, it gains him much advantage, it makes him worthy of reverence, it fills him with joy, it fills him with delight, it shows
Published on Jun 26, 2013
Published on Jun 26, 2013
Part B includes two early essays (Nibbana and Anatta and Sketch for a Proof of Rebirth) as well as notes from a Commonplace Book and Margina...