I.

There are two extremes, Brothers, that he who has renounced should shun.

On the one side, the constant following after things that appeal to lust and sensuality,—a low, bestial way, unworthy, unprofitable, fit only for the profane;

And, on the other side, the constant following after penance that is painful, unworthy, unprofitable.

There is a middle path, Brothers, that shuns these two extremes; a path found out by him who has come as others came before; a path that opens the eyes and gives understanding; a path that brings restfulness of mind, supreme wisdom, full enlightenment, Nirvana.

What then is this middle path, Brothers, that shuns these two extremes; the path found out by him who has come as others came before; the path that opens the eyes and gives understanding; the path that brings restfulness of mind, supreme wisdom, full enlightenment, Nirvana?

It is, verily, the Noble Eightfold Path; it is this:

Right seeing, right willing, right speaking, right behaving, right living, right striving, right concentrating, right meditating.

This is the middle path, Brothers, that shuns the two extremes; the path found out by him who has come as others came before; the path that opens the eyes and gives understanding; the path that brings restfulness of mind, supreme wisdom full enlightenment, Nirvana.

This, Brothers, is the noble truth about sorrow:

Birth is full of sorrow, decay is full of sorrow, sickness is full of sorrow, death is full of sorrow.

Contact with the pleasant is full of sorrow, separation from the unpleasant is full of sorrow, unsatisfied longing is full of sorrow. In a word the five groups of grasping are full of sorrow.

This, Brothers, is the noble truth about sorrow.

And this, Brothers, is the noble truths about the cause of sorrow:

It is, verily, the thirst that causes outward existence, accompanied by sensual enjoyment, seeking gratification now here, now there; it is the thirst for the gratification of desire, the thirst for outward existence, the thirst for present existence.

This, Brothers, is the noble truth about the cause of sorrow.

And this, Brothers, is the noble truth about the ceasing of sorrow:

It is, verily, the destroying, without any remnant of lust, of that same thirst; the putting away of, the getting rid of, the being free from, the ceasing to entertain this thirst.

This, Brothers, is the noble truth about the ceasing of sorrow.

And this, Brothers, is the noble truth about the path that leads to the ceasing of sorrow. It is, verily, the Noble Eightfold Path; it is this:

Right seeing, right willing, right speaking, right behaving, right living, right striving, right concentrating, right meditating.

This, Brothers, is the noble truth about the destroying of sorrow.

II.

That this was the noble truth about sorrow was not, Brothers, among the teachings handed down; but within me arose this insight, within me arose this knowledge, within me arose this understanding, within me arose this wisdom, within me arose this light. And again, Brothers, that I should understand that this was the noble truth about sorrow, although it was not among the teachings handed down, within me arose this insight, within me arose this knowledge, within me arose this understanding, within me arose this wisdom, within me arose this light. And again, Brothers, that I had understood that this was the noble truth about sorrow, although it was not among the teachings handed down, within me arose this insight, within me arose this knowledge, within me arose this understanding, within me arose this light.

That this, Brothers, was the noble truth about the cause of sorrow, although it was not among the teachings handed down, within me arose this insight, within me arose this knowledge, within me arose this wisdom, within me arose this light. And again, Brothers, that I should rid myself of the cause of sorrow, although it was not among the teachings handed down, within me arose this insight, within me arose this knowledge, within me arose this understanding, within me arose this wisdom, within me arose this light.

And again, Brothers, that I had rid myself altogether of the cause of sorrow, although it was not among the teachings handed down, within me arose this insight, within me arose this knowledge, within me arose this understanding, within me arose this wisdom, within me arose this light.

That this, Brothers, was the noble truth about the ceasing of sorrow, although it was not among the teachings handed down, within me arose this insight, within me arose this knowledge, within me arose this understanding, within me arose this wisdom, within me arose this light.

And again, Brothers, that I should bring about the ceasing of sorrow, although it was not among the teachings handed down, within rue arose this insight, within me arose this knowledge, within me arose this understanding, within me arose this wisdom, within me arose this light.

And again, Brothers, that I had brought about the ceasing of sorrow, although it was not among the teachings handed down, within ‘me arose this insight, within me arose this knowledge, within me arose this understanding, within me arose this wisdom, within me arose this light.

That this, Brothers, was the noble truth about the path that leads to the ceasing of sorrow, although it was not among the teachings handed down, within me arose this insight, within me arose this knowledge, within me arose this understanding, within me arose this wisdom, within me arose this light.

And again, Brothers, that I should become master of the path that leads to the ceasing of sorrow, although it was not among the teachings handed down, within me arose this insight, within me arose this knowledge, within me arose this understanding, within me arose this wisdom, within me arose this light.

And again, Brothers, that I had become master of the path that leads to the ceasing of sorrow, although it was not among the teachings handed down, within me arose this insight, within me arose this knowledge, within me arose this understanding, within me arose this wisdom, within me arose this light.

And, Brothers, as long as my knowledge and insight were not quite clear about each of these four noble truths in these three degrees, so long I was uncertain that I had gained full insight into the wisdom that is unexcelled in heaven or earth, among all ascetics or priests or gods or men.

But, Brothers, as soon as my knowledge and insight became quite clear about each of these tour noble truths in these three degrees, then I became certain that I had gained full insight into the wisdom that is unexcelled in heaven or earth, among all ascetics or priests or gods or men.

And now this knowledge and insight have arisen within me; the freedom of my heart is unshakeable; this is the end of birth and death for me.

III.

Thus the Master spoke. The company of the five brothers, rejoicing, praised the Master’s words. And when the teaching had been declared, there arose within the sage Kondanya the insight of truth, spotless and stainless, that whatever has a beginning in that also lies the necessity of having an end,

And when that royal chariot wheel of the law had been set forward by the Master, the bright ones of the earth cried out and said:

In Varanasi—Benares—at the refuge Migadaya, the supreme wheel of the law has been set forward by the Master,—the wheel that can never be turned back by ascetic or priest, by bright one or god or demon, or any power in the whole world.

And when they heard the cry of the bright ones of the earth, the bright ones of the four regents of space cried out and said:

In Varanasi, at the refuge Migadaya, the supreme wheel of, the law has been set forward by the Master,—the wheel that can never be turned back by ascetic or priest, by bright one or god or demon, or any power in the whole world.

And when they heard the cry of the bright ones of the four regents of space, the bright ones of the lord of death cried out and said:

In Varanasi, at the refuge Migadaya, the supreme wheel of the law has been set forward by the Master,—the wheel that can never be turned back by ascetic or priest, by bright one or god or demon, or any power in the whole world.

And when they heard the cry of the bright ones of the lord of death, the bright ones of the place of bliss cried out and said:

In Varanasi, at the refuge Migadaya, the supreme wheel of the law has been set forward by the Master,—the wheel that can never be turned back by ascetic or priest, by bright one or god or demon, or any power in the whole world.

And when they heard the cry of the bright ones of the place of bliss, the bright ones of the world of built-up vestures cried out and said:

In Varanasi, at the refuge Migadaya, the supreme wheel of the law has been set forward by the Master,—the wheel that can never be turned back by ascetic or priest, by bright one or god or demon, or any power in the whole world.

And when they heard the cry of the bright ones of the world of built-up vestures, the bright ones of the world of divinely formed vestures cried out and said:

In Varanasi, at the refuge Migadaya, the supreme wheel of the law has been set forward by the Master,— the wheel that can never be turned back by ascetic or priest, by bright one or god or demon, or any power in the whole world.

And when they heard the cry of the bright ones of the world of divinely formed vestures, the bright ones of the vesture of the Evolver cried out and said:

In Varanasi, at the refuge Migadaya, the supreme wheel of the law has been set forward by the Master,—the wheel that can never be turned back by ascetic or priest, by bright one or god or demon, or any power in the whole world.

Thus, in an instant, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, the cry went up even to the world of the Evolver, and this great system of myriad worlds shook and trembled and was violently moved, and a bright, measureless light appeared in the world, stronger even than the power of the gods.