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