Sutra Excerpts, Sutras

The Maha-Saccaka Sutra – The Longer Discourse to Saccaka

The Maha-Saccaka Sutta narrates the very interior journey of the Buddha’s path to realization and this particular excerpt recalls when he was a boy sitting under a rose-apple tree while his father was working. The moment was one of the first times the young Siddhartha entered into a state of meditation and understood ‘the pleasure born from seclusion’.

 

“I thought: ‘I recall once, when my father the Sakyan was working, and I was sitting in the cool shade of a rose-apple tree, then — quite secluded from sensuality, secluded from unskillful mental qualities — I entered and remained in the first jhana: rapture and pleasure born from seclusion, accompanied by directed thought and evaluation.’

‘Could that be the path to Awakening?’

Then following on that memory came the realization:

‘That is the path to Awakening.’

I thought: ‘So why am I afraid of that pleasure that has nothing to do with sensuality, nothing to do with unskillful mental qualities?’

I thought: ‘I am no longer afraid of that pleasure that has nothing to do with sensuality, nothing to do with unskillful mental qualities, but that pleasure is not easy to achieve with a body so extremely emaciated. Suppose I were to take some solid food: some rice and porridge.’ So I took some solid food: some rice and porridge.”

 

From the Maha-Saccaka Sutra