To Salha

Sāḷha (AN 4.196)

At one time The Blessed One was living in the gabled hall in the Great Forest in Vesali. The Licchavis, Salha and Abhaya approached The Blessed One, worshipped, sat on a side and said thus to The Blessed One:

Venerable sir, there are recluses and Brahmins who show the crossing of the flood with the two, the purity of virtues and disgust for asceticism. Venerable sir, what has The Blessed One to say about this?

Salha, I say that purity of virtues is a certain factor of recluseship. It is not possible for the recluses and Brahmins who talk of disgust for asceticism, see essence in disgust for asceticism, attached to disgust of asceticism, to cross the flood and it is not possible for recluses and Brahmins with impure bodily, verbal and mental activity to realize noble knowledge, vision and enlightnment.

Like a man desirous of crossing a river would take a sharp knife and enter the forest. In the forest seeing a huge, straight, young Sala shoot, he cuts the root and the top. Then he cleans the branches and twigs completely with a knife, chips it with a hatchet, marking it with a stencil and cleaning it with a stone ball puts it into the river. Salha, could he cross the river in it?

No, venerable sir.

What is the reason?

Venerable sir, that Sala shoot is externally well prepared, internally not prepared This should be expected from the Sala shoot, it will sink and that person will come to destruction. .

In the same manner Salha, it is not possible for the recluses and Brahmins who talk of disgust for asceticism, see essence in disgust for asceticism, attached to disgust of asceticism, to cross the flood and it is not possible for recluses and Brahmins with impure bodily, verbal and mental activity to realize noble knowledge, vision and enlightnment.

It is possible for the recluses and Brahmins who do not talk of disgust for asceticism, do not see essence in disgust for asceticism, not attached to disgust of asceticism, to cross the flood and it is possible for recluses and Brahmins with pure bodily, verbal and mental activity to realize noble knowledge, vision and enlightnment.

Like a man desirous of crossing a river would take a sharp knife and enter the forest. In the forest seeing a huge, straight, young Sala shoot, he would cut the root and the top. Then would clean the branches and twigs completely with a knife, chip it with a hatchet, marking it with a stencil, cleans it, with a stone ball and carving with a chisel would make a boat out of it. Then making an oar and rudder would put it into the river. Salha, could he cross the river in it?

Yes, venerable sir.

What is the reason?

Venerable sir, that Sala shoot is externally well prepared, internally well prepared A boat is made, an oar and rudder is built. This should be expected, it will not sink and that person will safely cross the flood ...

In the same manner Salha, it is possible for the recluses and Brahmins who do not talk of disgust for asceticism, do not see essence in disgust for asceticism, are not attached to disgust of asceticism, to cross the flood and it is possible for recluses and Brahmins with pure bodily, verbal and mental activity to realize noble knowledge, vision and enlightnment.

Like a soldier skilled at shooting in three instances, becomes royal property and royal by the sign. What three?

Shooting from a distance, shooting at the right moment and breaking down a huge mass.

Salha, like the soldier shooting from a distance, the noble disciple becomes rightfully concentrated. Salha this is right concentration. He sees with right insight as it really is, that all matter in the past, future or present, internal or external, rough or fine, unexalted or exalted, far or near is not mine, am not in it, it's not my self. That all feelings in the past, future or present, internal or external, rough or fine, unexalted or exalted, far or near are not mine, am not in them, they are not my self. That all perceptions in the past, future or present, internal or external, rough or fine, unexalted or exalted, far or near are not mine, am not in them, they are not my self. That all determinations in the past, future or present, internal or external, rough or fine, unexalted or exalted, far or near are not mine, am not in them, they are not my self. That all consciousness in the past, future or present, internal or external, rough or fine, unexalted or exalted, far or near are not mine, am not in them, they are not my self.

Salha, just as the soldier shoots at the right moment the noble disciple develops right view. This is his right view. he knows as it really is, this is unpleasant, this is the arising of unpleasantness, this is the cessation of unpleasantness and this is the path leading to the cessation of unpleasantness.

Salha, like a soldier that breaks up a huge mass in the same manner the noble disciple gets his rightful release breaking up a huge mass of ignorance.

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