Fire Sermon (full score)

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The Fire Sermon was the third of the three cardinal discourses of the Buddha. In the first two, the Buddha set out his basic teachings to a small group of fellow spiritual seekers. But the third was delivered to a crowd of 1000 fire-worshiping ascetics. In this sermon, the Buddha turns the image of fire into a metaphor for the suffering caused by craving and clinging. He exhorts the crowd to give up desire and to find the end of suffering through dispassion, to release the heart from greed, hatred, and delusion.


Fire Sermon

(Adittapariyaya Sutta, Samyutta Nikaya XXXV.28)

The All is aflame.

The eye is aflame.

Forms are aflame.

Consciousness is aflame.

Aflame with what?

Aflame with the fire of passion,

the fire of hate,

the fire of delusion.

Aflame with birth, aging & death,

with sorrows, with lamentations,

with pains, with griefs, with despairs.

The ear is aflame. Sounds are aflame...

The nose is aflame. Aromas are aflame...

The tongue is aflame. Flavors are aflame...

The body is aflame. Touch is aflame...

The mind is aflame.

Ideas are aflame.

Consciousness is aflame.

Intellect is aflame.

Through dispassion, he is fully released.

With full release, there is liberation.

Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done.

There is nothing further for this world.

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