What does this line in SN 3:3; I 71 <163-64> mean?

What does that last line, the one in bold mean?

Is it basically saying something like “everyone educated in the dhamma, and with some wisdom of their own agrees” ?

Aging and Death

(SN 3:3; I 71 <163-64>)


In The Buddha’s Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon Edited and introduced by Bhikkhu Bodhi. Page 26

At Savatthi, King Pasenadi of Kosala said to the Blessed One: “Venerable sir, is anyone who is born free from aging and death?”

"Great king, no one who is born is free from aging and death. Even those affluent khattiyas—rich, with great wealth and property, with abundant gold and silver, abundant treasures and commodities, abundant wealth and grain—because they have been born, are not free from aging and death. Even those affluent brahmins … affluent householders—rich … with abundant wealth and grain—because they have been born, are not free from aging and death. Even those monks who are arahants, whose taints are destroyed, who have lived the holy life, done what had to be done, laid down the burden, reached their own
goal, utterly destroyed the fetters of existence, and are completely liberated through final knowledge: even for them this body is subject to breaking up, subject to being laid down.

“The beautiful chariots of kings wear out,
This body too undergoes decay.
But the Dhamma of the good does not decay:
So the good proclaim along with the good.

Yes. The dhamma is a law of the cosmos and the good are in tune with it, and so are an example.

" the way of the contemplative (samana) who aims at a life in tune (sama) with the Dhamma."—Thanissaro

I think one can say that. The Noble Path, the Path of Purity. MN96 says:

“I, brahmin, declare the noble supramundane Dhamma as a person’s own wealth” (translation Bodhi)

What is this own wealth? I understand this as the wisdom and goodness of ones own heart. In some way we know when we are artificial, in business, and when our deeds are pure, noble. If our morality is in fact only business, for example, “what’s in it for me?”, “what do i get in return?”, ofcourse that is not really a noble Path and purified morality.

Often the heart becomes so overgrown with ego-centric longings that the wisdom that is allready present, the wisdom not connected with kamma, not connected with conceit, with ideas, about profit, merit, advantage, is also overgrown. It is still there but it becomes overgrown by delusion.

If the world has become totally deluded, suppose it is possible, this allready present richness, this noble Path, is not seen anymore. Persons have lost contact with their allready present wisdom and goodness, and now belief anything must be achieved, developed, constructed, made, created by effort, even that richness and that goodness of the heart. All is about becoming. At that moment Mara is Victor.

It is not like the Noble Path can really disappear, but what can disappear is a feeling for it. This is when people become very egoistic. They are always and only concerned, phyiscially and mentally, with becoming this or that. They want a perfect body and also a perfect soul. This is a sign they have no feeling anymore for the beauty, the richness, the goodness of their own hearts. They have no feeling anymore for the Noble Path, their wealth.

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Maybe we can interpret the sentence “But the Dhamma of the good does not decay” as: The fruit does not decay (aging) because it has not been born yet.
and the sentence “So the good proclaim along with the good.” as: But when the fruit is born, it does accordingly (good leads to good, bad leads to bad)

This is from SN 3.3 — Bhante Sujato translates as:

The fancy chariots of kings wear out, “Jīranti ve rājarathā sucittā, and this body too gets old. Atho sarīrampi jaraṁ upeti; But goodness never gets old: Satañca dhammo na jaraṁ upeti, so the true and the good proclaim.” Santo have sabbhi pavedayantī”ti.

Here is Bhikkhu Bodhi’s comment on the line in full:

Santo have sabbhi pavedayanti. Spk offers three interpretations, of which only the first, which I follow, sounds plausible: “The good, together with the good, declare: ‘The Dhamma of the good does not decay.’ The Dhamma of the good is Nibbāna; since that does not decay they call it unaging, deathless.” The verse = Dhp 151, on which Dhp-a III 123,2-5 comments: “The ninefold Dhamma of the good—of the Buddhas, etc.—does not decay, does not undergo destruction. So the good—the Buddhas, etc.—proclaim this, declare it, along with the good, with the wise.” The ninefold supramundane Dhamma is the four paths, their fruits, and Nibbāna. Brough argues that sabbhi here must be understood to bear the sense of a dative, and he takes the point to be that “the doctrine does not wear out ‘because good men teach it to other good men,’ their disciples and successors” (p. 228, n. 160). I do not find his interpretation convincing, for the Dhamma-as-teaching must certainly decay, and only the supramundane Dhamma remains immune to aging and death.

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