Majjhima Nikāya I
3. 9. Mahāsāropamasuttaṃ
(29) The Major Discourse on Heartwood

I heard thus.

At one time the Blessed One lived on vultures' peak in Rājagaha soon after Devadatta had left the dispensation and the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus on account of Devadatta.

“Here, bhikkhus, a certain son of a clansman victimised by birth, decay and death leaves the household out of faith and becomes a homeless thinking I am submerged in grief, lament, unpleasantness, displeasure, distress and death, saying only a few declare the complete ending of this mass of unpleasantness. Gone forth thus, he is reborn in gain, honour and fame. Satisfied with it, his desires fulfilled with that gain, honour and fame, he praises himself and disparages others. I am a gainer of hospitality, these other bhikkhus are impotent and not wise. He becomes intoxicated and negligent on account of that gain honour and fame and abides in unpleasantness. [1] Like a man in need of heartwood, wandering in search of heartwood, coming to a standing tree with heartwood would ignore the heartwood, sapwood, bark and shoots, and cutting the branches and leaves would carry them away thinking it's the heartwood. - A wise man seeing him would say: This good man does not know the heartwood, sapwood, bark, shoots, branches or leaves. So this man in need of heartwood, wandering in search of heartwood, coming to a standing tree with heartwood has ignored the heartwood, sapwood, bark and shoots. He has cut the branches and leaves and is carrying them away thinking that it is the heartwood, Whatever work he has to do with the heartwood, to that he would not come. Bhikkhus, in the same manner, a certain son of a clansman, victimised by birth, decay and death leaves the household out of faith. He becomes homeless thinking I am submerged in grief, lament unpleasantness, displeasure, distress and death and says only a few declare the complete ending of this mass of unpleasanatness. Gone forth he is reborn in gain, honour and fame. Satisfied with that, and his desires fulfilled he praises himself and disparages others. I am a gainer of hospitality, these other bhikkhus are impotent and not wise. Thus he becomes intoxicated and negligent on account of that gain, honour and fame and lives in unpleasanatness. Bhikkhus, to this is said, the bhikkhu has come to the end of the holy life among the branches and leaves.

Here, bhikkhus, a certain son of a clansman victimised by birth, decay and death leaves the household out of faith and becomes a homeless thinking I am submerged in grief, lament, unpleasantness, displeasure, distress and death. He says only a few declare the complete ending of this mass of unpleasantness. Gone forth thus he is reborn in gain, honour and fame. Satisfied with it desires not fulfilled with that gain, honour and fame he does not praise himself or disparage others. He is not intoxicated and not negligent on account of that gain honour and fame and takes upon himself to observe the virtues. Satisfied with it and desires fulfilled he praises himself and disparages others. Saying my virtues are pure, these others are evil, and become intoxicated and negligent abides in unpleasantness*. Like a man in need of heartwood wandering in search heartwood, coming to a standing tree with heartwood would ignore the heartwood and sapwood. Cutting the shoots would carry them away thinking that is the heartwood. A wise man seeing him would say: This good man does not know the heartwood, sapwood, bark, shoots, branches or leaves. So this man in need of heartwood, wandering in search of heartwood, coming to a standing tree with heartwood has ignored the heartwood, sapwood, and bark. Cutting the shoots he is carrying them away thinking that it is heartwood. Whatever work he has to do with the heartwood, to that he would not come. Bhikkhus, in the same manner, a certain son of a clansman, victimised by birth, decay and death would leave the household out of faith. Becoming a homeless, thinking I am submerged in grief, lament unpleasantness, displeasure, distress and death, would say only a few make known the complete ending of this mass of unpleasantness. Having gone forth thus is reborn in gain, honour and fame. Satisfied with it and his desires not fulfilled he would not praise himself nor disparage others. He would ṭake upon himself to observe the virtues. Satisfied with it and his desires fulfilled he would praise himself and disparage others. My virtues are pure, these others are evil without virtues. Become intoxicated and negligent, he abides in unpleasanatness. *. Bhikkhus, to this said, the bhikkhu has come to the end of the holy life among the shoots.

Here, bhikkhus, a certain son of a clansman victimised by birth, decay and death leaves the household out of faith. Become a homeless he thinks, I am submerged in grief, lament, unpleasantness, displeasure, distress and death, only a few make known the complete ending of this mass of unpleasantness Having gone forth thus is reborn in gain, honour and fame. Satisfied with it, yet his desires not fulfilled with that gain, honour and fame does not praise himself or disparage others. Not intoxicated and not negligent on account of that gain honour and fame takes upon himself to observe the virtues. Satisfied with it and his desires not fulfilled with the endowment of virtues, does not praise himself and disparage others. Not intoxicated and not negligent takes upon himself the endowment of concentration. Satisfied and his desires fulfilled with the endowment of concentration, praises himself and disparages others-I am concentrated with the mind in one point other bhikkhus are with distracted minds, intoxicated and negligent, on account of the endowment of concentration abides in unpleasantness*. Like a man in need of heartwood wandering in search of heartwood, coming to a standing tree with heartwood ignoring the heartwood and the sapwood would cut the bark and carry it away thinking that is the heartwood. - A wise man seeing him would say: This good man does not know the heartwood, sapwood, bark, shoots, and the branches and leaves. So this man in need of heartwood, wandering in search of heartwood, coming to a standing tree with heartwood has ignored the heartwood and the sapwood has cut the bark and is carrying it away thinking it's the heartwood. Whatever work he has to do with the heartwood, he would not come to that. Bhikkhus, in the same manner, a certain son of a clansman, victimised by birth, decay and death would leave the household out of faith and become a homeless thinking I'm submerged in grief, lament unpleasantness, displeasure, distress and death. He would say, only a few declare the complete ending of this mass of unpleasanatness. Gone forth thus is reborn in gain, honour and fame. Satisfied with it and his desires not fulfilled with that gain, honour and fame, he wouldn't praise himself nor disparage others. He would take upon himself to observe the virtues. Satisfied with it and his desires not fulfilled with the endowment of virtues would not praise himself nor disparage others. Not intoxicated and not negligent would take upon himself the endowment of concentration Satisfied and his desires fulfilled with the endowment of concentration would praise himself and disparage others. Saying I, m concentrated with the mind in one point, other bhikkhus are with distracted minds. Intoxicated and negligent on account of the endowment of concentration would abide in unpleasanatness. Bhikkhus, to this said, the bhikkhu has come to the end of the holy life in the bark.

Here, bhikkhus, a certain son of a clansman victimised by birth, decay and death would leave the household out of faith and would become a homeless, thinking I am submerged in grief, lament, unpleasantness, displeasure, distress and death, saying only a few declare the complete ending of this mass of unpleasantness. Having gone forth thus, he is reborn in gain, honour and fame. Satisfied with it and his desires unfulfilled would not praise himself or disparage others, and not intoxicated nor negligent on account of that gain honour and fame, would diligently takes upon himself to observe the virtues. Satisfied with it and his desires not fulfilled with the endowment of virtues, would not praise himself and disparage others. Not intoxicated nor negligent would take upon himself the endowment of concentration. Satisfied and his desires not fulfilled with the endowment of concentration would not praise himself or disparage others. Not intoxicated and not negligent would take upon himself to attain knowledges and vision. Satisfied and his desires fulfilled with the endowment of knowledges and vision would praise himself and disparages others. Saying I abide knowing and seeing. Other bhikkhus abide not knowing and not seeing, intoxicated and negligent on account of the endowment of knowledges and vision would abide in unpleasantness*. Like a man in need of heartwood wandering in search of heartwood, coming to a standing tree with heartwood would ignore the heartwood, cut the sapwood and carry it away thinking, it is the heartwood. A wise man seeing him would say: This good man does not know the heartwood, sapwood, bark, shoots, the branches and leaves. So this man in need of heartwood, wandering in search of heartwood, coming to a standing tree with heartwood ignoring the heartwood has cut the sapwood and is carrying it away thinking it is the heartwood. Whatever work he has to do with the heartwood, to that he would not come. Bhikkhus, in the same manner, a certain son of a clansman, victimised by birth, decay and death would leave the household out of faith and become a homeless. Thinking I am submerged in grief, lament, unpleasantness, displeasure, distress and death. Only a few declare the complete ending of this mass of unpleasantness. Gone forth thus, is reborn in gain, honour and fame. Satisfied with it, yet desires not fulfilled with that gain, honour and fame would not praise himself or disparage others. He would take upon himself to observe the virtues. Satisfied with it and desires unfulfilled, with the endowment of virtues would not praise himself nor disparage others. Not intoxicated and not negligent would take upon himself the endowment of concentration Satisfied with it and his desires not fulfilled with the endowment of concentration would not praise himself nor disparage others. Not intoxicated and not negligent would take upon himself to develop knowledges and vision. Satisfied, and desired fulfilled he would thinks. I abide knowing and seeing, these other bhikkhus abide not knowing and not seeing. Intoxicated and negligent on account of the endowment of knowledges and vision would abide in unpleasanatness. Bhikkhus, to this is said, the bhikkhu has come to the end of the holy life in the sapwood.

Here, bhikkhus, a certain son of a clansman victimised by birth, decay and death would leave the household out of faith and become a homeless thinking I am submerged in grief, lament, unpleasantness, displeasure, distress and death. Saying only a few declare the complete ending of this mass of unpleasantness Gone forth thus is reborn in gain, honour and fame. Satisfied with it, and his desires unfulfilled with that gain, honour and fame would not praise himself or disparage others. Not intoxicated nor negligent on account of that gain honour and fame would take upon himself to observe the virtues. Satisfied with it and his desires not fulfilled with the endowment of virtues, would not praise himself and disparage others. Not intoxicated and not negligent would take upon himself the endowment of concentration. Satisfied with it and his desires unfulfilled with the endowment of concentration would not praise himself or disparage others. Not intoxicated and not negligent would take upon himself to attain knowledges and vision. Satisfied with it and desires not fulfilled with the endowment of knowledges and vision would not praise himself nor disparage others. Not intoxicated nor negligent on account of the endowment of knowledges and vision would take upon himself to attain the timeless release of mind. Bhikkhus, it is not possible that the bhikhu should fall from the timeless release of mind. Like a man in need of heartwood wandering in search of heartwood, coming to a standing tree with heartwood would cut the heartwood and carry it away knowing it is heartwood. A wise man seeing him would say: This good man, knows the heartwood, sapwood, bark, shoots, branches and leaves. So this man in need of heartwood, wandering in search of heartwood, coming to a standing tree with heartwood, has cut the heartwood and is carrying it away knowing that it is the heartwood. Whatever work he has to do with the heartwood, to that he would come. Bhikkhus, in the same manner, a certain son of a clansman, victimised by birth, decay and death would leave the household out of faith. Become a homeless would think I'm submerged in grief, lament unpleasantness, displeasure, distress and death. Saying only a few declare the complete ending of this mass of unpleasantness. Gone forth thus, is reborn in gain, honour and fame. Satisfied with it and his desires not fulfilled with that gain, honour and fame, would not praise himself nor disparage others. Wouldṭake upon himself to observe the virtues. Satisfied with it and his desires not fulfilled with the endowment of virtues would not praise himself nor disparage others. Not intoxicated nor negligent, would take upon himself the endowment of concentration Satisfied with it and his desires not fulfilled with the endowment of concentration would not praise himself nor disparage others. Not intoxicated and not negligent would take upon himself to develop knowledges and vision Satisfied with it and desired unfulfilled with the endowment of knowledges and vision would take upon himself to attain the timeless release of mind. Bhikkhus, it is not possible that the bhikkhu should fall from the timeless release of mind. [2]

So then, bhikkhus, the holy life is led not for, gain, honour and fame, not for the endowment of virtues, not for the endowment of concentration, not for the endowment of knowledges and vision. Bhikkhus, it is for the unshakeable release of mind that is the essence and end of the holy life, .

The Blessed One said thus and those bhikkhus delighted in the words of the Blessed One.


[1] Intoxicated and negligent on account of the endowment of concentration abides in unpleasantness. `so tāya samādhisampadāya majjati pamajjati pamādaṃ āpajjati pamatto samāno dhukkhaṃ viharati' We see the bhikkhu abiding in unpleasāntness on several occasions when he is intoxicated and negligent over his gain honour and fame, attainment of virtues, attainment of concentration, attainment of knowledges and vision. The person who has realised the timeless release of mind only does not abide in unpleasānatness. The lessening of unpleasāntness starts with the attainment of the entry into the stream of the Teaching and reaches the climax with the attainment of extinction. Arahatta.

[2] The timeless release of mind, the unshakeable release of mind. `asamaya vimokkhaṃ ārādeti' `akuppācetovimutti' This is the attainment of extinction, when attained to it, unpleasāntness is not experienced any more.