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7+ quotes from The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Majjhima Nikaya

Quotes from The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Majjhima Nikaya

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“Here bhikkhus, some misguided men learn the Dhamma–discourses, stanzas, expositions, verses, exclamations, sayings, birth stories, marvels, and answers to questions–but having learned the Dhamma, they do not examine the meaning of those teachings with wisdom. Not examining the meaning of those teachings with wisdom, they do not gain a reflective acceptance of them. Instead they learn the Dhamma only for the sake of criticising others and for winning in debates, and they do not experience the good for the sake of which they learned the Dhamma.”
― quote from The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Majjhima Nikaya


“So too, friend, purification of virtue is for the sake of reaching purification of mind; purification of mind is for the sake of reaching purification of view; purification of view is for the sake of reaching purification by overcoming doubt; purification by overcoming doubt is for the sake of reaching purification by knowledge and vision of what is the path and what is not the path; purification by knowledge and vision of what is the path and what is not the path is for the sake of reaching purification by knowledge and vision of the way; purification by knowledge and vision of the way is for the sake of reaching purification by knowledge and vision; purification by knowledge and vision is for the sake of reaching final Nibbāna [Nirvana] without clinging. It is for the sake of final Nibbāna without clinging that the holy life is lived under the Blessed One.”
― quote from The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Majjhima Nikaya


“Meditate, Ānanda, do not delay, or else you will regret it later. This is our instruction to you.”
― quote from The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Majjhima Nikaya


“If a person has faith, Bhāradvāja, he preserves truth when he says: 'My faith is thus'; but he does not yet come to the conclusion: 'Only this is true, anything else is wrong.' In this way, Bhāradvāja, there is the preservation of truth; in this way he preserves truth; in this way we describe the preservation of truth. But as yet there is no discovery of truth.”
― quote from The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Majjhima Nikaya


“Suppose a man threw into the sea a yoke with one hole in it, and the east wind carried it to the west, and the west wind carried it to the east, and the north wind carried it to the south, and the south wind carried it to the north. Suppose there were a blind turtle that came up once at the end of each century. What do you think, bhikkhus? Would that blind turtle put his neck into that yoke with one hole in it?"
"He might, venerable sir, sometime or other at the end of a long period."
"Bhikkhus, the blind turtle would sooner put his neck into that yoke with a single hole in it than a fool, once gone to perdition, would take to regain the human state, I say. Why is that? Because there is no practising of the Dhamma there, no practising of what is righteous, no doing of what is wholesome, no performance of merit. There mutual devouring prevails, and the slaughter of the weak.”
― quote from The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Majjhima Nikaya


“Jīvaka, I say that there are three instances in which meat should not be eaten: when it is seen, heard, or suspected [that the living being has been slaughtered for oneself]. I say that meat should not be eaten in these three instances. I say that there are three instances in which meat may be eaten: when it is not seen, not heard, and not suspected [that the living being has been slaughtered for oneself]. I say that meat may be eaten in these three instances.”
― quote from The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Majjhima Nikaya


“The methods of meditation taught by the Buddha in the Pali Canon fall into two broad systems. One is the development of serenity (samatha), which aims at concentration (samādhi); the other is the development of insight (vipassanā), which aims at understanding or wisdom (paññā). In the Buddha’s system of mental training the role of serenity is subordinated to that of insight because the latter is the crucial instrument needed to uproot the ignorance at the bottom of saṁsāric bondage. The attainments possible through serenity meditation were known to Indian contemplatives long before the advent of the Buddha. The Buddha himself mastered the two highest stages under his early teachers but found that, on their own, they only led to higher planes of rebirth, not to genuine enlightenment (MN 26.15–16). However, because the unification of mind induced by the practice of concentration contributes to clear understanding, the Buddha incorporated the techniques of serenity meditation and the resulting levels of absorption into his own system, treating them as a foundation and preparation for insight and as a “pleasant abiding here and now.”
― quote from The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Majjhima Nikaya


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