Study and Research Section

Commentary on the Mahaaraahulovaadasutta

Part I : Section E

Relevant sutta passage: Addasaa kho aayasmaa saariputto aayasmanta.m Raahula.m a˝˝atarasmi.m rukkhamuule nisinna.m palla'nka.m aabhujitvaa uju.m kaaya.m pa.nidhaaya parimukha.m sati.m upa.t.thapetvaa. Disvaana aayasmanta.m Raahula.m aamantesi: aanaapaanasati.m Raahula bhaavana.m bhaavehi, aanaapaanasati Raahula bhaavitaa bahuliikataa mahapphalaa hoti mahaanisa.msaa ti.

The venerable Sariputta saw the venerable Rahula seated at the foot of that tree, cross-legged and body upright with mindfulness established before him. Having seen the venerable Rahula, he addressed him: "Cultivate the development of mindfulness on in and out breathing, Rahula. The development of mindfulness on in and out breathing, Rahula, is of great fruit and profit."


14. Words:

  • niyojeti: urge.
  • anucchavika: suitable.
  • aavajjeti: to consider, observe.
  • acala: not moving, unshakable.
  • baddha: bound, connected with (anobaddha: not in the dictionary).
  • pariga.nhaati: explore, examine, comprehend.
  • ga.nhaati: seize, acquire.
  • anuyutta: engaged in (anyu˝jati).
  • ekaasana: sitting alone.
  • samasiisi: One who attains two ends simultaneously.
  • khepeti: destroy, bring to waste.
  • nibbatteti: to produce.
  • viraddha: failed, missed (virajjhati).
  • sammuukho: face to face with.
  • sammuukhiibhaava: being in the presence of.
  • khippa: quick, very soon.

Commentary:
atha kasmaa aanaapaanassatiya.m niyojesi? nisajjaanucchavikattaa.
Then, why did he exhort him to develop Mindfulness of Breathing? Because it is suitable for a sitting posture.

thero kira "etassa bhagavataa ruupakamma.t.thaana.m kathita''nti anaavajjitvaava
It is said that the Thera had not observed that the Buddha had spoken about the meditation subject of materiality to Rahula.

yenaakaarena aya.m acalo anobaddho hutvaa nisinno,
He thought that for Rahula who was seated in that way, steadfast and immovable,

idamassa etissaa nisajjaaya kamma.t.thaana.m anucchavikanti cintetvaa evamaaha.
that subject of meditation in such sitting posture was suitable for him, and thus he spoke to him in that way.

tattha aanaapaanassatinti assaasapassaase pariggahetvaa tattha catukkapa˝cakajjhaana.m nibbattetvaa
As regards the word, aanaapaanasati, mindfulness of breathing, he explained: "After you have comprehended inbreathing and outbreathing, and with this subject attained the fourth or the fifth stage of jhana,

vipassana.m va.d.dhetvaa arahatta.m ga.nhaahiiti dasseti.
and you have developed insight, you should reach arahatship."

mahapphalaa hotiiti kiivamahapphalaa hoti?
As to the words, it is of great fruit, how is it of great fruit?

idha bhikkhu aanaapaanassati.m anuyutto
Here, the monk who is intent on mindfulness of breathing,

sabbaasave khepetvaa arahatta.m paapu.naati.
eradicates all defilements and reaches arahatship.

tathaa asakkonto mara.nakaale samasiisii hoti,
If he cannot do this , there will be at the end of life the extinction of all defilements **.

tathaa asakkonto devaloke nibbattitvaa
If he cannot do this, he will be reborn in a deva plane,

dhammakathikadevaputtassa dhamma.m sutvaa arahatta.m paapu.naati,
and when he has heard Dhamma from a deity (son of a deva) who is a speaker of Dhamma, he will attain arahatship.

tato viraddho anuppanne buddhuppaade paccekabodhi.m sacchikaroti,
If this fails because the appearance of a Buddha has not taken place, he will realize the awakening of a solitary Buddha.

ta.m asacchikaronto buddhaana.m sammukhiibhaave baahiyattheraadayo viya khippaabhi˝˝o hoti,
If he cannot realize this, he can, being in the presence of Buddhas, attain higher knowledge *** quickly, such as the Elder Baahiya and others.

eva.m mahapphalaa.
Thus it is of great fruit.

mahaanisa.msaati tasseva vevacana.m.
As to the expression "mahaanisa.msaa", of great benefit, this is a synonym of "mahapphalaa", of great fruit".

English:
Then, why did he exhort him to develop Mindfulness of Breathing? Because it is suitable for a sitting posture. It is said that the Thera had not observed that the Buddha had spoken about the meditation subject of materiality to Rahula. He thought that for Rahula who was seated in that way, steadfast and immovable, that subject of meditation in such sitting posture was suitable for him, and thus he spoke to him in that way. As regards the word, aanaapaanasati, mindfulness of breathing, he explained: "After you have comprehended inbreathing and outbreathing, and with this subject attained the fourth or the fifth stage of jhana, and you have developed insight, you should reach arahatship." As to the words, it is of great fruit, how is it of great fruit? Here, the monk who is intent on mindfulness of breathing, eradicates all defilements and reaches arahatship. If he cannot do this , there will be at the end of life the extinction of all defilements **. If he cannot do this, he will be reborn in a deva plane, and when he has heard Dhamma from a deity (son of a deva) who is a speaker of Dhamma, he will attain arahatship. If this fails because the appearance of a Buddha has not taken place, he will realize the awakening of a solitary Buddha. If he cannot realize this, he can, being in the presence of Buddhas, attain higher knowledge *** quickly, such as the Elder Baahiya and others. Thus it is of great fruit. As to the expression "mahaanisa.msaa", of great benefit, this is a synonym of "mahapphalaa", of great fruit".

* There are more versions: the Burmese edition has: acalo anabandho. The PTS edition has: acalaasanabandho hutvaa, motionless, glued to his seat.

** samasiisi, who attains two ends simultaneously, who at the end of his life eradicates all defilements.

*** The subcommentary glosses: "the six higher knowledges". These include higher spiritual powers. The sixth one is the eradication of all defilements.


15. Words:

  • paricita: accumulated, increased.
  • anupubba.m: systematically, in order.
  • soma (m): moon.
  • candimaa (m): moon.
  • pabhaaseti: illumine.
  • abbha (m): cloud.
  • mutta (mu˝cati): freed, released.
  • sampassati: to consider, to see.
  • saddhivihaarika: co-resident.
  • aacikkhati: to inform.
  • ohiina (ohiiyati): left behind.
  • khaadaniiya (n): hard food.
  • bhojaniiya (n): soft food.
  • hattha (m): hand.
  • sa˝˝aa: remembrance, notification.
  • kaaja (m): carrying pole.
  • chinnabhatta: famished.

Commentary:
vuttampi ceta.m --
The Buddha spoke as follows:

"aanaapaanassatii yassa, paripu.n.naa subhaavitaa.
"The person who fully develops Mindfulness of Breathing,

anupubba.m paricitaa, yathaa buddhena desitaa.
Who gradually accumulates it as taught by the Buddha,

soma.m loka.m pabhaaseti, abbhaa muttova candimaa''ti.
He brightens the world as the moon that is free from clouds." (theragaa 548; pa.ti ma 1.1.60)

-- ima.m mahapphalata.m sampassamaano thero saddhivihaarika.m tattha niyojeti.
Since the Elder considered that Mindfulness of Breathing was of such great fruit he exhorted his co-resident to develop it.

iti bhagavaa ruupakamma.t.thaana.m, thero aanaapaanassatinti
Thus, the Blessed One taught the meditation subject of materiality, and the Elder taught Mindfulness of Breathing.

ubhopi kamma.t.thaana.m aacikkhitvaa gataa, raahulabhaddo vihaareyeva ohiino.
When both of them had explained these subjects, they went away, and Lucky Rahula was left behind in the dwelling place.

bhagavaa tassa ohiinabhaava.m jaanantopi neva attanaa khaadaniiya.m bhojaniiya.m gahetvaa agamaasi,
The Blessed One, even though he knew that Rahula was left behind, did not go himself with hard and soft food,

na aanandattherassa hatthe pesesi,
nor did he send it through the Elder Aananda,

na pasenadimahaaraajaanaathapi.n.dikaadiina.m sa˝˝a.m adaasi.
nor did he inform King Pasenadi, Anaathapi.n.dika or others.

sa˝˝aamattaka˝hi labhitvaa te kaajabhatta.m abhihareyyu.m.
Had they only been informed, they would have brought food with a carrying pole.

yathaa ca bhagavaa, eva.m saariputtattheropi na ki˝ci akaasi.
Just as the Blessed One, the Elder Sariputta did not take any action either.

raahulatthero niraahaaro chinnabhatto ahosi.
Rahula went without food, he had to go hungry.

English:
The Buddha spoke as follows:

"The person who fully develops Mindfulness of Breathing, Who gradually accumulates it as taught by the Buddha, He brightens the world as the moon that is free from clouds."

Since the Elder considered that Mindfulness of Breathing was of such great fruit he exhorted his co-resident to develop it. Thus, the Blessed One taught the meditation subject of matter, and the Elder taught Mindfulness of Breathing. When both of them had explained these subjects, they went away, and Lucky Rahula was left behind in the dwelling place. The Blessed One, even though he knew that Rahula was left behind, did not go himself with hard and soft food, nor did he send it through the Elder Aananda, nor did he inform King Pasenadi, Anaathapi.n.dika or others. Had they only been informed, they would have brought food with a carrying pole. Just as the Blessed One, the Elder Sariputta did not take any action either. Rahula went without food, he had to go hungry.

In this book

Introduction

Part 1:
Section a
Section b
Section c
Section d
Section e
Part 2:
Section a
Part 6:
Section a
Part 7:
Section a
Part 11:
Section a
Part 12:
Section a
Part 13:
Section a

Conclusion