The Discourse on the Snake Simile

The Discourse on the Snake Simile, translated by Nyanaponika Thera (Kandy: BPS, 1962)

p. 28/n. 19
['The Universe is the Self', lit.: 'This (is) the world, this (is) the self' (so loko so attā). That, in fact, an identification of the two terms is intended here, will be shown in the following comments. The best explanation of the passage is furnished in the Brahmajāla Sutta (D. 1) where a similar phraseology is used: 'There are, monks, some ascetics and brahmans who are eternalists and who proclaim self and world to be eternal'...subsequently the theorist is introduced as stating his view in similar terms: 'Eternal are self and the world... they exist as eternally the same'.... The last term appears likewise in our text.... From this we may safely conclude that it is the identity, or unity, of the Self (or soul; mahātman, paramātman) with the universe (or the Universal Spirit, Brahman) which is conveyed by our text.] 'From this we our text.' noted: No! Self and the world are complementary—attā and attanīya.


p. 38/n. 49
[When they (dhammānusārī and saddhānusārī) actually reach the Path of Stream-entry (sotāpattimagga) they are called 'Mature in Dhamma' and 'Mature in Faith'.] noted: They have reached it. See M. 70.


p. 39/n. 50
[They (those who have simply faith in me) are said to be of assured destiny (niyatagatika), i.e., of the final attainment of...Nibbāna. The Elder Monks of old say that such Bhikkhus are Lesser Stream-enterers (cūla- or bala-sotāpanna; Vis.M. 703).] noted: No! If these were so, the Buddha would have said so in this Sutta, as he has of the D and S.