This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: “Monks, the world1 has been fully awakened to by the Tathāgata. From the world, the Tathāgata is disjoined. The origination of the world has been fully awakened to by the Tathāgata. The origination of the world has, by the Tathāgata, been abandoned. The cessation of the world has been fully awakened to by the Tathāgata. The cessation of the world has, by the Tathāgata, been realized. The path leading to the cessation of the world has been fully awakened to by the Tathāgata. The path leading to the cessation of the world has, by the Tathāgata, been developed.2
“Whatever in this world with its devas, Māras, & Brahmās, in this generation with its contemplatives & brahmans, its royalty & commonfolk, is seen, heard, sensed, cognized, attained, sought after, pondered by the intellect, that has been fully awakened to by the Tathāgata. Thus he is called the Tathāgata.
“From the night the Tathāgata fully awakens to the unsurpassed Right Self-awakening to the night he is totally unbound in the Unbinding property with no fuel remaining,3 whatever the Tathāgata has said, spoken, explained is just so (tatha) and not otherwise. Thus he is called the Tathāgata.
“The Tathāgata is one who does in line with (tathā) what he teaches, one who teaches in line with what he does. Because he is one who does in line with what he teaches, one who teaches in line with what he does, he is thus called the Tathāgata.
“In this world with its devas, Māras, & Brahmas, in this generation with its contemplatives & brahmans, its royalty & common people, the Tathāgata is the unconquered conqueror, total seer, the wielder of power.4 Thus he is called the Tathāgata.”
This is the meaning of what the Blessed One said. So with regard to this it was said:
Directly knowing all the world,
all the world as it really is,
from all the world disjoined,
in all the world unmatched.
in all ways,
released from all bonds,
he touches the foremost peace–
He is free
his doubts cut through;
has attained the ending of action,
is released in the destruction of acquisitions.
He is blessed, awakened.
He is a lion, unsurpassed.
In the world with its devas
he set the Brahma-wheel going.5
Thus do divine & human beings
who have gone to the Buddha for refuge,
gathering, pay homage
to the great one, thoroughly mature:
‘Tamed, he’s the best
of those who can be tamed;
calm, the seer
of those who can be calmed;
among those who can be released;
crossed, the foremost
of those who can cross.’
Thus they pay homage
to the great one, thoroughly mature:
‘In this world with its devas,
there’s no one
This, too, was the meaning of what was said by the Blessed One, so I have heard.
1. SN 35:82 defines the “world“ as the six sense spheres, their objects, consciousness at those spheres, contact at those spheres, and whatever arises in dependence on that contact, experienced as pleasure, pain, or neither pleasure nor pain.
2. This passage parallels, with one change, the duties appropriate to the four nobles truths: abandoning the origination of stress, realizing its cessation, and developing the path of practice leading to its cessation. The one deviation is that whereas the duty with regard to stress is to comprehend it, here the Tathāgata is disjoined from the world. See SN 56:11.
3. See §44.
4. These are epithets usually associated with the Great Brahma. See §22.
5. The Brahma-wheel = the Dhamma-wheel, the name of the Buddha’s first sermon, so called because it contains a “wheel” that lists all twelve combinations of two variables: the four noble truths–stress, its origination, its cessation, and the way leading to its cessation–and the three levels of knowledge appropriate to each truth: knowledge of the truth, knowledge of the task appropriate to the truth, and knowledge that the task has been completed. This wheel constitutes the Buddha’s most central teaching.
This itivuttaka is identical with AN 4:23.