Ekottara Agama 19.2





[ii]’Thus have I heard.  At one time the Buddha was staying in the Vārāṇāsī District, at the Ṛṣis’ Deer Park[iii].  Then the Exalted One said to the bhikṣus[iv].

There are two modes of behaviour (vṛtti) which a person in quest of the [highest] truth[v] should avoid.  Which are the two? Desiring, craving for objects of sensual pleasure which by its very nature (dharma) is low, vulgar and unprofitable. On the other hand, all [sorts of] mortification (pīḍana)[vi], many acts of harming (vihiṁsana) and endless [tormenting] thoughts. These are the two modes of behaviour which a person in quest of the [highest] truth should avoid.  Having given up these two modes of behaviour, on my own I gained the highest truth and became fully enlightened. Vision arose, superknowledge (abhijñā) arose, my mind became [truly] calm.  I obtained all the supernormal powers (ṛddhi) and realised the fruition of recluseship – Nirvāṇa.

Now what is the supreme path leading to Full Enlightenment, making for vision, for superknowledge, for one’s mind to become [truly] calm, for obtaining all supernormal powers and for realising the fruition of recluseship – Nirvāṇa?  It is this very noble eightfold path, viz. extraordinary (adhika) views, extraordinary prevention (pratikāra), extraordinary speech, extraordinary bodily action, extraordinary livelihood, extraordinary skill in means (upāya-kauśalya), extraordinary mindfulness, extraordinary concentration[vii].  This is what is called the supreme path.

At this time I have become fully enlightened, vision has arisen, superknowledge has arisen, my mind has become [truly] calm, I have obtained all supernormal powers and realised the fruition of recluseship – Nirvana.  Therefore, O bhikṣus, one should train to give up the above[-mentioned] two modes of behaviour and practice in accordance with the supreme path. –  

After listening to the Buddha’s words, the bhikṣus were pleased and respectfully applied themselves to practice’.


[i] The first sūtra of Part 19, to which this subtitle refers, was translated into French by A.Bareau in his article “Les debuts de la predication du Buddha selon l’Ekoitara-āgama;  see Bulletin de Ecole francais d’Extreme – Orient LXXVII (Paris 1988), p.78f; Bareau also refers to this sūtra in his paper ‘Le Buddha et Uruvilva in Indianisme et Bouddhisme, Melanges offerts a Mgr. Etienne Lamotte, Louvain-la-Neuve 1980, p.5ff.

[ii]  CBETA, T02, no. 125, p. 593, b24-c12; Hayashi, p.162ff. This translation originally published as Ekottaragama XXI, Buddhist Studies Review 14.1, 1997, p 48-50. Translated from the Chinese version by Thích Huyên-Vi and Bhikkhu Pāsādika in collaboration with Sara Boin-Webb. Cf. S V, p.420ff. (Dhamma-cakkappavattana-Vagga); Hayashi, ibid., additionally mentions as parallel MI. 160ff. (Ariyapariyesanasutta) the relevant portion of which, however, cannot be regarded as either a textual or thematic parallel to the present EĀ passage.

[iii]  The Chinese has what corresponds with Ṛṣi-mṛgadāva, not with Ṛṣipatana Mṛgadāva.

[iv] Cf. S V, p.421: pañcavaggiye bhikkhu

[v]  Lit. ‘a student of the Way’ (學道者) for pabbajita; for anta  (‘extremes’) the chinese has (‘action’, also = vṛtti).

[vi] It is noteworthy that EĀ here does not have anything corresponding to self mortification (ātmaklamatha = ###)            )

[vii] Cf. BSR 11, 2, p.15, where four versions of the āryāṣṭāṅgikamārga, all differing slightly from each other, are referred to. A remarkable innovation with the wording in this fifth version is the change from ‘right’ (samyañc = #) to ‘extraordinary’ (adhika = ).