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Anguttara Nikaya
An Anthology
Part II

Selected and translated from the Pali
by

Nyanaponika Thera

and

Bhikkhu Bodhi

Buddhist Publication Society
Kandy • Sri Lanka

The Wheel Publication No. 208–211

See also:  

For this edition, the revised translations by Venerable Bodhi as given in the Numerical Discourses of the Buddha have been used with his kind permission.

Copyright © Kandy, Buddhist Publication Society, (1970)
First edition: 1975
Second edition: 1988.

BPS Online Edition © (2008)

For free distribution. This work may be republished, reformatted, reprinted, and redistributed in any medium. However, any such republication and redistribution is to be made available to the public on a free and unrestricted basis and translations and other derivative works are to be clearly marked as such.


Contents

The Chapter of the Fives

1. The Trainee’s Powers
2. Conditions of Good and Evil
3. The Simile of the Infant
4. Another Five Powers
5. Criteria of the Five Powers
6. The Five Helpers of Right View
7. The Bliss of Detachment
8. The Benefits of Alms-giving
9. Five Desirable Things
10. Five Contemplations for Everyone
11. The Repulsive and the Unrepulsive
12. The Right Way of Teaching Dhamma
13. How to Remove Grudges
14. Wrong Livelihood
15. Praising the Buddha
16. The Five Dreams of the Bodhisatta
17. Well-spoken Words
18. Five Routes of Escape

The Chapter of the Sixes

19. Sensual Desire
20. The Six Things Unsurpassed
21. Causes for the Origination of Actions
22. Don’t Judge Others!
23. Poverty
24. Scholars and Meditators
25. The Visible Teaching
26. Professing Enlightenment
27. Step by Step
28. The Aims of People
29. The Simile of the Lute
30. A Penetrative Exposition
31. Non-returning
32. Arahatship
33. Six Rarities
34. The Blessings of Stream-entry
35. Conviction in Conformity with the Dhamma
36. Advantages of Contemplating Impermanence
37. Advantages of Contemplating Suffering
38. Advantages of Contemplating Non-self

The Chapter of the Sevens

39. Getting Rid of Drowsiness
40. Loving-kindness
41. Seven Kinds of Wives
42. Mental Development
43. Life’s Brevity
44. The Master’s Teaching

The Chapter of the Eights

45. Vicissitudes of Life
46. Nanda
47. Siha the General
48. The Simile of the Ocean
49. The Householder Ugga
50. The Lay Follower
51. The Eight Thoughts of a Great Man
52. Ways of Giving
53. Reasons for Giving
54. Rebirth on account of Giving
55. Ways of Meritorious Action
56. Streams of Merit
57. Mindfulness of Death–I
58. Mindfulness of Death–II


The Chapter of the Fives

1. The Trainee’s Powers

Monks, there are five powers of one in higher training. [1] What five?

The trainee’s powers of faith, shame, moral dread, energy, and wisdom.

And what is the power of faith? Here, monks, a noble disciple has faith; he places faith in the enlightenment of the Tathagata: “The Blessed One is an arahat, fully enlightened, accomplished in true knowledge and conduct, sublime, knower of the world, unsurpassed leader of persons to be tamed, teacher of devas and humans, the Enlightened One, the Blessed One.”

And what is the power of shame? Here, monks, a noble disciple has a sense of shame; he feels ashamed of bad behaviour by body, speech, and mind; he feels ashamed of anything evil and unwholesome. [2]

And what is the power of moral dread? Here, monks, a noble disciple has moral dread; he dreads bad behaviour by body, speech, and mind; he dreads anything evil and unwholesome.

And what is the power of energy? Here, monks, a noble disciple lives with energy set upon the abandoning of everything unwholesome and the acquiring of everything wholesome; he is steadfast and strong in his effort, not shirking his task in regard to wholesome qualities.

And what is the power of wisdom? Here, monks, a noble disciple is wise; he possesses that wisdom which sees into the rise and fall of phenomena, which is noble and penetrating, and leads to the complete destruction of suffering. [3]

These, monks, are the five powers of one in higher training.

Therefore, O monks, you should train yourselves thus: “We will acquire the powers of faith, shame, moral dread, energy, and wisdom possessed by one in higher training!” Thus should you train yourselves.

(5:2)
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2. Conditions of Good and Evil

So long, O monks, as faith exists in wholesome qualities, then what is unwholesome will not gain entry. But when faith (in the wholesome) has vanished and disbelief takes a hold and prevails, then what is unwholesome will gain entry. [4]

So long, O monks, as a sense of shame exists in regard to wholesome qualities, then what is unwholesome will not gain entry. But when such a sense of shame has vanished and shamelessness takes a hold and prevails, then what is unwholesome will gain entry.

So long, O monks, as moral dread exists in regard to wholesome qualities, then what is unwholesome will not gain entry. But when such moral dread has vanished and moral recklessness takes a hold and prevails, then what is unwholesome will gain entry.

So long, O monks, as there is energy directed to wholesome qualities, then what is unwholesome will not gain entry. But when such energy has vanished and indolence takes a hold and prevails, then what is unwholesome will gain entry.

So long, O monks, as there is wisdom concerning wholesome qualities, then what is unwholesome will not gain entry. But when such wisdom has vanished and stupidity takes a hold and prevails, then what is unwholesome will gain entry.

(5:6)
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3. The Simile of the Infant

Generally, monks, beings find sensual pleasures enjoyable. Now if a young man of good family has discarded sickle and carrying-pole [5] and has gone forth from home into the homeless life, one may rightly suppose that he has done so out of faith. And why can this be assumed? Because for the young, sensual pleasures are easily accessible. Of whatsoever kind, coarse, average or refined—they all count as sensual pleasures.

Now suppose, monks, there is a tender infant lying on its back. Through the nurse’s negligence, the child has put a little stick or a shard into its mouth. Then the nurse very quickly would consider what has happened, and very quickly she would remove the object. But if she is unable to remove it quickly, she would hold the infant’s head with her right hand, and crooking a finger, she would extract the object, even if she had to draw blood. And why? Though certainly it hurts the infant—and I do not deny this—yet the nurse had to act like this, wishing the best for the child, being concerned with its welfare, out of pity, for compassion’s sake. But when the child has grown up and is sensible enough, the nurse can be unconcerned about the child, knowing that now it can watch over itself and will no longer be negligent.

Similarly, monks, as long as a monk has not yet proved his faith in things wholesome, not yet proved his sense of shame and moral dread, his energy and wisdom as to things wholesome, so long do I have to watch over him. But when he has proved himself in all these things, I can be unconcerned about that monk, knowing that he can now watch over himself and will no longer be negligent. [6]

(5:7)
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4. Another Five Powers

There are, O monks, another five powers: the powers of faith, energy, mindfulness, concentration and wisdom. [7]

What, monks, is the power of faith? (As in Text 70.)

What is the power of energy? (As in Text 70.)

What is the power of mindfulness? Here, monks, a noble disciple is mindful; he is equipped with the keenest mindfulness and circumspection; he remembers well and keeps in mind what has been said and done long ago. [8]

What is the power of concentration? Here, monks, secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unwholesome states, a noble disciple enters and dwells in the first jhana … (as in Text 33) … in the fourth jhana, which is neither painful nor pleasant and includes the purification of mindfulness by equanimity.

What is the power of wisdom? (As in Text 70.)

(5:14)
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5. Criteria of the Five Powers

There are, O monks, these five powers: the powers of faith, energy, mindfulness, concentration and wisdom.

Where, monks, can the power of faith be seen? In the four factors of stream-entry. [9]

Where can the power of energy be seen? In the four right kinds of effort. [10]

Where can the power of mindfulness be seen? In the four foundations of mindfulness. [11]

Where can the power of concentration be seen? In the four jhanas.

Where can the power of wisdom be seen? In the Four Noble Truths. [12]

(5:15)
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6. The Five Helpers of Right View

Right view, O monks, if it is helped by five things, has liberation of mind as its fruit and is rewarded by the fruit of liberation of mind; it has liberation by wisdom as its fruit and is rewarded by the fruit of liberation by wisdom. [13] What are those five things?

Here, monks, right view is helped by virtue, by wide learning, by discussion (of what was learned), by tranquillity and by insight. [14]

(5:25)
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7. The Bliss of Detachment

Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was wandering on tour in the Kosala country together with a large company of monks when he arrived at a brahmin village called Icchanangala. There the Blessed One dwelt in a woodland near Icchanangala.

Now the brahmin householders of Icchanangala heard: “It is said that the ascetic Gotama, the Sakyan son who went forth from a Sakyan family, has arrived at Icchanangala. Now a good report about that master Gotama has been circulating thus: ’That Blessed One is an arahat … (as at AN 3:65) … he reveals a holy life that is perfectly complete and purified.’ Now it is good to see arahats such as this.”

And when the night had passed, the brahmin householders went to the woodland where the Blessed One was dwelling, taking with them ample hard and soft food. Having arrived, they stopped outside the entrance, making an uproar and a racket.

Now at that time, the Venerable Nagita was the Blessed One’s personal attendant. And the Blessed One said to the Venerable Nagita: “Who is it, Nagita, that is making this uproar and racket? One would think they were fishermen making a haul of fish.”

“These, Lord, are brahmin householders of Icchanangala. They stand at the entrance with ample provisions of food for the Blessed One and for the Sangha of monks.”

“May I have nothing to do with fame, Nagita, nor may fame come upon me! Whosoever cannot obtain at will, easily and without difficulty, this happiness of renunciation, this happiness of seclusion, this happiness of peace, this happiness of enlightenment as I obtain it, let him enjoy this filthy and slothful happiness, this happiness gotten of gains, homage and publicity.”

“Please, Lord, let the Blessed One with forbearance accept the offering, may the Sublime One accept it! It is now timely for the Blessed One to accept it in forbearance. Wherever the Blessed One now goes, there the brahmin householders of town and countryside will be inclined to go. Just as, when it rains in big drops, the water tends to flow downhill, similarly wherever the Blessed One now goes, there people will tend to go. And why is that so? Because of the Blessed One’s virtue and wisdom.”

“May I have nothing to do with fame, Nagita, nor may fame come upon me! Whosoever cannot obtain at will, easily and without difficulty, this happiness of renunciation … this happiness of enlightenment, as I obtain it, let him enjoy this filthy and slothful happiness, this happiness gotten of gains, homage, and publicity.

“Truly, Nagita: eating, drinking, chewing and savouring end in excrement and urine; this is their outcome.

“Through change and alteration in what one loves there arise sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair; this is its outcome.

“But whosoever, Nagita, applies himself to meditation on the foulness (of attractive things), in him revulsion towards attractive objects will be firmly established; this is its outcome.

“Whosoever, Nagita, dwells contemplating the impermanence in the six bases of sensory contact, in him revulsion towards sensory contact will be firmly established; this is its outcome.

“Whosoever, Nagita, dwells contemplating rise and fall in the five aggregates of clinging, in him revulsion towards clinging will be firmly established; this is its outcome.”

(5:30)
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8. The Benefits of Alms-giving

On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Savatthi in Jeta’s Grove, Anathapindika’s monastery. At that time Princess Sumana, with a following of five hundred court ladies in five hundred chariots, came to see the Blessed One. Having arrived, she paid homage to the Blessed One, sat down to one side, and said:

“Lord, suppose there are two disciples of the Blessed One who are equal in faith, equal in virtue and equal in wisdom. But one is a giver of alms and the other is not. Then these two, with the body’s breakup, after death, would be reborn in a happy state, in a heavenly world. Having thus become devas, O Lord, would there be any distinction or difference between them?”

“There would be, Sumana,” said the Blessed One. “The one who has given alms, having become a deva, will surpass the non-giver in five ways: in divine lifespan, divine beauty, divine happiness, divine fame and divine power.”

“But if these two, Lord, pass away from there and return to this world here, would there still be some distinction or difference between them when they become humans again?”

“There would be, Sumana,” said the Blessed One. “The one who has given alms, having become a human being, will surpass the non-giver in five ways: in human lifespan, human beauty, human happiness, human fame and human power.”

“But if these two, Lord, should go forth from home into the homeless life of monkhood, will there still be any distinction or difference between them when they are monks?”

“There would be, Sumana,” said the Blessed One. “The one who has given alms, having become a monk, will surpass the non-giver in five ways: he is often asked to accept robes, and it is rare that he is not asked; he is often asked to accept alms-food … a dwelling … and medicine, and it is rare that he is not asked. Further, his fellow monks are usually friendly towards him in deeds, words, and thoughts; it is rare that they are unfriendly. The gifts they bring him are mostly pleasing, and it is rare that they are not.”

“But, Lord, if both attain arahatship, would there still be some distinction or difference between them?”

“In that case, Sumana, I declare, there will not be any difference between one liberation and the other.”

“It is wonderful, Lord, it is marvellous! One has, indeed, good reason to give alms, good reason to do meritorious deeds, if they will be of help to one as a deva, of help as a human, of help as a monk.”

(5:31)
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9. Five Desirable Things

Once the Blessed One addressed the householder Anathapindika thus:

“There are, O householder, five things that are wished for, loved and agreeable yet rarely gained in the world. What five? Long life, beauty, happiness, fame, and rebirth in heaven. But of those five things, householder, I do not teach that they are to be obtained by prayer or by vows. If one could obtain them by prayer or vows, who would not obtain them?

“For a noble disciple, householder, who wishes to have long life, it is not befitting that he should pray for long life or take delight in so doing. He should rather follow a path of life that is conducive to longevity. [15] By following such a path he will obtain long life, be it divine or human.

“For a noble disciple, householder, who wishes to have beauty, happiness, fame, and rebirth in heaven, it is not befitting that he should pray for them or take delight in so doing. He should rather follow a path of life that is conducive to beauty, happiness, fame, and rebirth in heaven. By following such a path he will obtain beauty, happiness, fame, and rebirth in heaven.”

(5:43)
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10. Five Contemplations for Everyone

There are five facts, O monks, which ought to be often contemplated upon by everyone—whether man or woman, householder or one gone forth as a monk. What five?

“I am sure to become old; I cannot avoid ageing.”

“I am sure to become ill; I cannot avoid illness.”

“I am sure to die; I cannot avoid death.”

“I must be separated and parted from all that is dear and beloved to me.”

“I am the owner of my actions, heir of my actions, actions are the womb (from which I have sprung), actions are my relations, actions are my protection. Whatever actions I do, good or bad, of these I shall become the heir.” [16]

Now for what good reason should a man or woman, a householder or monk, often contemplate the fact that they are sure to become old and cannot avoid ageing? Beings while young take pride in youth; and infatuated by that pride in youth they lead an evil life in deeds, words, and thoughts. But in one who often contemplates the certainty of old age, the pride of youth will either vanish entirely or will be weakened. For that good reason the fact of ageing should often be contemplated. [17]

For what good reason should a man or woman, a householder or monk, often contemplate the fact that they are sure to become ill and cannot avoid illness? Beings while healthy take pride in their health; and infatuated by that pride in health they lead an evil life in deeds, words, and thoughts. But in one who often contemplates the certainty of illness, the pride in health will either vanish entirely or will be weakened. For that good reason the fact of illness should often be contemplated.

For what good reason should a man or woman, a householder or monk, often contemplate the fact that they are sure to die and cannot avoid death? Beings while alive take pride in life; and infatuated by that pride in life they lead an evil life in deeds, words, and thoughts. But in one who often contemplates the certainty of death, the pride in life will either vanish entirely or will be weakened. For that good reason the fact of death should often be contemplated.

For what good reason should a man or woman, a householder or monk, often contemplate the fact that they must be separated and parted from all that dear and beloved to them? Beings have lustful desire for what is dear and beloved; and inflamed by lust, they lead an evil life in deeds, words, and thoughts. But in one who often contemplates separation from things dear and beloved, lustful desire for what is dear and beloved will either vanish entirely or will be weakened. For that good reason separation from what is beloved should often be contemplated.

For what good reason should a man or woman, a householder or monk, often contemplate the fact that they are owners of their actions, and that whatever actions they do, good or bad, of these they will become the heirs? There are beings who lead an evil life in deeds, words, and thoughts. But in one who often contemplates one’s responsibility for one’s actions, such evil conduct will either vanish entirely or will be weakened. For that good reason the fact of responsibility for one’s actions should often be contemplated.

Now, O monks, the noble disciple contemplates thus: “I am not the only one who is sure to become old, to fall ill, and to die. But wherever beings come and go, pass away and re-arise, they all are subject to old age, illness and death.” In one who often contemplates these facts, the path arises. He now regularly pursues, develops and cultivates that path, and while he is doing so the fetters are abandoned and the underlying tendencies eliminated. [18]

Further, the noble disciple contemplates thus: “I am not the only one who must be separated and parted from what is dear and beloved; I am not the only one who is the owner and heir of his actions. But wherever beings come and go, pass away and re-arise, all must be separated and parted from what is dear and beloved; and all are owners and heirs of their actions.” In one who often contemplates these facts, the path arises. He now regularly pursues, develops and cultivates that path, and while he is doing so the fetters are abandoned and the underlying tendencies eliminated.

Worldlings are disgusted by other beings  [19]
Who share in our common nature,
By those afflicted with ageing and illness,
By those on the verge of death.
When I live for a higher aim, it is unfitting
For me to loathe such pitiful beings.
While dwelling thus, I will defeat
The pride in health, youth and life,
Having known the state free from props,
Seeing security in renunciation. [20]
As I gazed towards Nibbana, zeal arose in me:
“Now I can never pursue sensual pleasures!
Never again shall I turn back,
The holy life is now my highest goal.”

(5:57)
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11. The Repulsive and the Unrepulsive

In the Tikandaki Grove near Saketa, the Blessed One said:

“Monks, it is good for a monk:

(1) to abide from time to time perceiving the repulsive in the unrepulsive;

(2) to abide from time to time perceiving the unrepulsive in the repulsive;

(3) to abide from time to time perceiving the repulsive in the unrepulsive as well as in the repulsive;

(4) to abide from time to time perceiving the unrepulsive in the repulsive as well as in the unrepulsive;

(5) to reject both the repulsive and the unrepulsive and to abide in equanimity, mindful and clearly comprehending. [21]

(1) “But for what reason should a monk abide perceiving the repulsive in the unrepulsive? (He should do so with the thought:) ’May no lust arise in me for lust-inducing objects!’

(2) “And for what reason should he abide perceiving the unrepulsive in the repulsive? (He should do so with the thought:) ’May no hatred arise in me towards hate-inducing objects!’

(3) “And for what reason should he abide perceiving the repulsive in the unrepulsive as well as in the repulsive? (He should do so with the thought:) ’May no lust arise in me for lust-inducing objects, and may no hatred arise in me towards hate-inducing objects!’

(4) “And for what reason should he abide perceiving the unrepulsive in the repulsive as well as in the unrepulsive? (He should do so with the thought:) ’May no hatred arise in me towards hate-inducing objects, and may no lust arise in me for lust-inducing objects!’

(5) “And for what reason should he reject both the repulsive and the unrepulsive and abide in equanimity, mindful and clearly comprehending? (He should do so with the thought:) ’In any situation, anywhere and to any extent, may lust never arise in me for lust-inducing objects, nor hatred towards hate-inducing objects, nor delusion towards objects liable to cause delusion!’“ [22]

(5:144)
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12. The Right Way of Teaching Dhamma

On one occasion while the Blessed One was dwelling at Kosambi, in Ghosita’s monastery, the Venerable Udayi was seated there in the midst of a large gathering of layfolk and taught the Dhamma to them. The Venerable Ananda, seeing this, went to the Blessed One and reported this to him. (The Blessed One then said:)

“It is not easy, Ananda, to teach the Dhamma to others. To teach the Dhamma to others one should set up in oneself five standards for doing so. What five?

“’I shall give a gradual discourse’: [23] in that way should the Dhamma be taught to others.

“’I shall give a well-reasoned discourse’: in that way should the Dhamma be taught to others.

“’Moved by sympathy I shall speak’: [24] in that way should the Dhamma be taught to others.

“’Not for the sake of worldly advantage I shall speak’: in that way should the Dhamma be taught to others.

“’Without alluding to myself or to others I shall speak’: [25] in that way should the Dhamma be taught to others.

“Truly, Ananda, it is not easy to teach the Dhamma to others. When doing so one should set up in oneself these five standards.”

(5:159)
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13. How to Remove Grudges

There are, O monks, five ways of getting rid of a grudge, by means of which a monk can remove all grudges that have arisen within him. What five?

If a grudge arises towards any person, then one should cultivate loving-kindness towards him … or compassion … or equanimity. [26] In that way one can remove the grudge towards that person.

Or one should pay no attention to him and give no thought to him. In that way one can remove the grudge.

Or one may apply to that person the fact of ownership of kamma: “This worthy person is the owner of his actions, the heir of his actions; his actions are the womb (from which he has sprung), his relations, and his protection. Whatever he does, good or bad, he will be heir to that.”

These are the five ways of getting rid of a grudge, by means of which a monk can remove all grudges that have arisen within him.

(5:161)
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14. Wrong Livelihood

These five trades, O monks, should not be taken up by a lay follower: trading with weapons, trading in living beings, trading in meat, trading in intoxicants, trading in poison. [27]

(5:177)
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15. Praising the Buddha

On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Vesali in the Great Forest, in the Hall with the Peaked Roof. At that time, a brahmin named KaranaPali was engaged in supervising building work for the Licchavis. He saw another brahmin named Pingiyani approaching in the distance, and addressed him: “Where are you coming from at high noon?”

“I am coming from the ascetic Gotama.”

“Well, what do you think of the ascetic Gotama’s accomplishment in wisdom? Do you think he is a wise man?”

“Who am I honourable sir, that I should comprehend the ascetic Gotama’s accomplishment in wisdom? Certainly, only one who equals him could comprehend it.”

“It is very high praise, indeed, by which you extol the ascetic Gotama.”

“Who am I honourable sir, that I should praise him? Master Gotama is praised by the praised as best among devas and humans.” [28]

“But what has the honourable Pingiyani noticed in the ascetic Gotama that he has such great faith in him?”

“Just as a man who has found satisfaction in the choicest of tastes will not yearn for other tastes of an inferior kind; so too, dear sir, one will no longer have a liking for the doctrines of those many other ascetics and brahmins, after one has listened to Master Gotama’s Dhamma, be it discourses, mixed prose, expositions or marvellous accounts.

“Just as a man weakened by hunger who comes upon a honey cake, wherever he eats of it he will enjoy a sweet, delicious taste; so too, dear sir, whatever one hears of Master Gotama’s Dhamma, be it discourses, mixed prose, expositions or marvellous accounts, one will derive from it satisfaction and confidence in one’s heart.

“Just as a man who comes upon a piece of yellow or red sandalwood, wherever he smells it—be it at the top, the middle or the lower end—he will enjoy a fragrant, delicious scent; so too, dear sir, whatever one hears of Master Gotama’s Dhamma, be it discourses, mixed prose, expositions or marvellous accounts, one will derive from it happiness and joy.

“Just as a capable physician might instantly cure a patient who is afflicted, in pain and gravely ill; so too, dear sir, whatever one hears of the Master Gotama’s Dhamma, be it discourses, mixed prose, expositions or marvellous accounts, one’s sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair will vanish.

“Just as if there were a beautiful pond with a pleasant shore, its water clear, agreeable, cool and limpid, and a man came by, scorched and exhausted by the heat, fatigued, parched and thirsty, and he would step into the pond, bathe and drink, and thus all his affliction, fatigue and feverishness would be allayed; so too, dear sir, whenever one hears Master Gotama’s Dhamma, be it discourses, mixed prose, expositions or marvellous accounts, all one’s affliction, fatigue and feverish burning are allayed.”

When Pingiyani had thus spoken, the brahmin KaranaPali rose from his seat, arranged his upper robe over one shoulder, and placing his right knee on the ground, he extended his hands in reverential salutation towards the Blessed One and uttered three times these inspired words:

“Homage to him, the Blessed One, the Arahat, the Fully Enlightened One!

“Homage to him, the Blessed One, the Arahat, the Fully Enlightened One!

“Homage to him, the Blessed One, the Arahat, the Fully Enlightened One!

“Excellent, Master Pingiyani! Excellent, Master Pingiyani! It is just as if one were to set upright what was overturned, or to reveal what was hidden, or to point out the way to one gone astray, or to hold a lamp in the darkness so that those who have eyes might see forms. Even so has the Dhamma been set forth in various ways by Master Pingiyani.

“Now, Pingiyani, I go for refuge to that Master Gotama, to the Dhamma and to the Sangha of monks. Let Master Pingiyani accept me as a lay follower who has gone for refuge from today until life’s end.”

(5:194)
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16. The Five Dreams of the Bodhisatta

Monks, before the Tathagata, the Arahat, the Fully Enlightened One attained enlightenment, while he was still a bodhisatta, five great dreams appeared to him. What five?

He dreamt that this mighty earth was his great bedstead; the Himalaya, king of mountains, was his pillow; his left hand rested on the eastern sea, his right hand on the western sea; his two feet on the southern sea. This, monks, was the first dream that appeared to the Tathagata while he was still a bodhisatta.

Again, he dreamt that from his navel arose a kind of grass called tiriya and continued growing until it touched the clouds. This, monks, was the second great dream….

Again, he dreamt that white worms with black heads crawled on his legs up to his knees, covering them. This, monks, was the third great dream….

Again, he dreamt that four birds of different colours came from the four directions, fell at his feet and turned all white. This, monks, was the fourth great dream….

Again, he dreamt that he climbed up a huge mountain of dung without being soiled by the dung. This, monks, was the fifth great dream….

Now when the Tathagata, while still a bodhisatta, dreamt that the mighty earth was his bedstead, the Himalaya, king of mountains, his pillow … this first dream was a sign that he would awaken to unsurpassed, perfect enlightenment.

When he dreamt of the tiriya grass growing from his navel up to the clouds, this second great dream was a sign that he would fully understand the Noble Eightfold Path and would proclaim it well among devas and humans.

When he dreamt of the white worms with black heads crawling on his legs up to his knees and covering them, this third great dream was a sign that many white-clad householders would go for refuge to the Tathagata until the end of their lives.

When he dreamt of four birds of different colours coming from all four directions and, falling at his feet, turning white, this fourth great dream was a sign that members of the four castes—nobles, brahmins, commoners and menials—would go forth into homelessness in the Doctrine and Discipline taught by the Tathagata and would realize the unsurpassed liberation.

When he dreamt of climbing up a huge mountain of dung without being soiled by it, this fifth great dream was a sign that the Tathagata would receive many gifts of robes, alms-food, dwellings and medicines, and he would make use of them without being tied to them, without being infatuated with them, without being committed to them, seeing the danger and knowing the escape.

These are the five great dreams that appeared to the Tathagata, the Arahat, the Fully Enlightenment One, before he attained enlightenment, while he was still a bodhisatta.

(5:196)
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17. Well-spoken Words

If speech has five marks, O monks, it is well spoken, not badly spoken, blameless and above reproach by the wise. What are these five marks?

It is speech that is timely, true, gentle, purposeful, and spoken with a mind of loving-kindness.

(5:198)
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18. Five Routes of Escape

There are, O monks, five routes of escape. [29] What five?

There is one monk who, when attending to sensuality, [30] feels no urge towards sensuality, is not pleased with it, does not dwell on it, and has no inclination for sensuality. But when attending to renunciation he feels an urge towards renunciation, is pleased with it, dwells on it mentally, and inclines to it. His mind is well directed and well developed, has risen above sensuality, is free of it, untrammelled; and as to those disturbing and tormenting passions caused by sensuality, he is rid of them and has no such feelings. This is called the escape from sensuality. [31]

Again, there is one monk who, when attending to ill will, [32] feels no urge towards ill will, is not pleased with it, does not dwell on it and has no inclination for ill will. But when attending to non-ill will, [33] he feels an urge towards it, he is pleased with it, dwells on it and inclines to it. His mind is well directed and well developed, has risen above ill will, is free of it, untrammelled; and as to those disturbing and tormenting passions caused by ill will, he is rid of them and has no such feelings. This is called the escape from ill will.

Again, there is one monk who, when attending to cruelty, feels no urge towards cruelty, [34] is not pleased with it, does not dwell on it, has no inclination for cruelty. But when attending to non-cruelty, he feels an urge towards it, is pleased with it, dwells on it and inclines to it. His mind is well directed and well developed, has risen above cruelty, is free of it, untrammelled; and as to those disturbing and tormenting passions caused by cruelty, he is rid of them and has no such feelings. This is called the escape from cruelty.

Again, there is one monk who, when attending to form, feels no urge towards form, [35] is not pleased with it, does not dwell on it, has no inclination for it. But when attending to the formless, he feels an urge towards it, is pleased with it, dwells on it mentally, and inclines to it. His mind is well directed and well developed, has risen above form, is free of it, untrammelled; and as to those disturbing and tormenting passions caused by form, he is rid of them and has no such feelings. This is called the escape from form.

Again, there is one monk who, when attending to personality, [36] feels no urge towards personality, is not pleased with it, does not dwell on it, has no inclination for it. But when attending to the cessation of personality, he feels an urge towards that cessation, is pleased with it, dwells on it mentally, and inclines to it. His mind is well directed and well developed, has risen above personality, is free of it, untrammelled; and as to those disturbing and tormenting passions caused by personality, he is rid of them and has no such feelings. This is called the escape from personality.

For such a one no relishing of sensuality lies within, no relishing of ill will lies within, no relishing of violence lies within, no relishing of form lies within, no relishing of personality lies within. Therefore such a monk is called “one without underlying tendencies.” [37] He has cut off craving, has discarded the fetter, and by completely breaking through conceit, he has made an end to suffering.

These, monks, are the five basic routes of escape.

(5:200)
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The Chapter of the Sixes

19. Sensual Desire

Monks, “peril” is a name for sensual desire, “pain” is a name for sensual desire, “disease” is a name for sensual desire “tumour” … “fetter” … “morass” is a name for sensual desire.

And why, monks, is “peril” a name for sensual desire? Inflamed by sensual passions and in bondage to lustful desire, one is free neither of the perils of this world nor of the perils of the next world.

Inflamed by sensual passions and in bondage to lustful desire, one is free neither of the pain, the disease, the tumour, the fetter, and the morass of this world nor of the next world.

(6:23)
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20. The Six Things Unsurpassed

There are, O monks, these six things unsurpassed. [38] What are the six?

The seeing unsurpassed, the hearing unsurpassed, the gain unsurpassed, the training unsurpassed, the service unsurpassed and the recollection unsurpassed.

And what is the seeing unsurpassed? Some here, O monks, go to see the elephant-treasure, the horse-treasure, the jewel-treasure, or to see this and that; or else they go to see an ascetic or brahmin of wrong views, of wrong practice. [39] And is that, monks, called “seeing”? No, I say it is not, for that seeing is indeed low, common, worldly, ignoble, and unbeneficial; nor does it lead to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation, peace, direct knowledge, enlightenment and Nibbana. But when one goes to see the Tathagata or the Tathagata’s disciple, established in faith, established in love, gone surely for refuge, serenely assured: that, O monks, is seeing unsurpassed for the purification of beings, for passing beyond sorrow and lamentation, for the destruction of suffering and grief, for reaching the noble path, for the realization of Nibbana. [40] This, monks, is called the seeing unsurpassed.

Such is the seeing unsurpassed, but what is the hearing unsurpassed? Some here, O monks, go to hear the sound of drums, the sound of lutes, the sound of singing, or to hear this or that; or else they go to hear an ascetic or brahmin of wrong views, of wrong practice. And is that, monks, called “hearing”? No, I say it is not, for that hearing is indeed low … nor does it lead to disenchantment … and Nibbana. But when one goes to hear the Dhamma from the Tathagata or the Tathagata’s disciple, established in faith, established in love, gone surely for refuge, serenely assured: that, O monks, is hearing unsurpassed for the purification of beings, for passing beyond sorrow and lamentation, for the destruction of suffering and grief, for reaching the noble path, for the realization of Nibbana. This, monks, is called the hearing unsurpassed.

Such is the seeing unsurpassed and the hearing unsurpassed; but what is the gain unsurpassed? Some here, O monks, gain a child, gain a wife, gain wealth, gain this or that; or else they gain faith in an ascetic or brahmin of wrong views, of wrong practice. And is that, monks, called “gain”? No, I say it is not, for that gain is indeed low … nor does it lead to disenchantment … and Nibbana. But when one gains faith in the Tathagata or in the Tathagata’s disciple, established in faith, established in love, gone surely for refuge, serenely assured: that, O monks, is gain unsurpassed for the purification of beings, for passing beyond sorrow and lamentation, for the destruction of suffering and grief, for reaching the noble path, for the realization of Nibbana. This, monks, is called the gain unsurpassed.

“Such is the seeing unsurpassed, the hearing unsurpassed and the gain unsurpassed; but what is the training unsurpassed? Some here, O monks, train in elephantry, in horsemanship, in charioteering, in archery, in swordsmanship, or in this or that; or else they train under an ascetic or brahmin of wrong views, of wrong practice. And is that, monks, called “training”? No, I say it is not, for that training is indeed low … nor does it lead to disenchantment … and Nibbana. But when one trains in the higher virtue, the higher mind and the higher wisdom as taught in the Dhamma and Discipline made known by the Tathagata, established in faith, established in love, gone surely for refuge, serenely assured: that, O monks, is training unsurpassed for the purification of beings, for passing beyond sorrow and lamentation, for the destruction of suffering and grief, for reaching the noble path, for the realization of Nibbana. This, monks, is called the training unsurpassed.

“Such is the seeing unsurpassed, the hearing unsurpassed, the gain unsurpassed and the training unsurpassed; but what is the service unsurpassed? Some here, O monks, serve kings, brahmins, householders, or this or that person; or else they serve an ascetic or brahmin of wrong views, of wrong practice. And is that, monks, called “service”? No, I say it is not, for that service is indeed low … nor does it lead to disenchantment … and Nibbana. But when one serves the Tathagata or the Tathagata’s disciple, established in faith, established in love, gone surely for refuge, serenely assured: that, O monks, is service unsurpassed for the purification of beings, for passing beyond sorrow and lamentation, for the destruction of suffering and grief, for reaching the noble path, for the realization of Nibbana. This, monks, is called the service unsurpassed.

“Such is the seeing unsurpassed, the hearing unsurpassed, the gain unsurpassed, the training unsurpassed and the service unsurpassed; but what is the recollection unsurpassed? Some here, O monks, recollect the gain of a child, the gain of a wife, the gain of wealth, or recollect this and that; or else recollect an ascetic or brahmin of wrong views, of wrong practice. And is that, monks, called “recollection”? No, I say it is not, for that recollection is indeed low, common, worldly, ignoble, and unbeneficial; nor does it lead to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation, peace, direct knowledge, enlightenment and Nibbana. But when one recollects the Tathagata or the Tathagata’s disciple, established in faith, established in love, gone surely for refuge, serenely assured: that, O monks, is the recollection unsurpassed for the purification of beings, for passing beyond sorrow and lamentation, for the destruction of suffering and grief, for reaching the noble path, for the realization of Nibbana. This, monks, is called the recollection unsurpassed.

These, O monks, are the six things unexcelled.

“They who have gained the seeing unexcelled,
The hearing unexcelled, as well the gain
Called unexcelled, they rejoicing too
In the training unexcelled, established too
In service, they develop in recollectedness—
And they being to solitude attached—
The Path to the Deathless and to the Secure,
In heedfulness joyful, wise and well-restrained:
In time, for certain, they shall come to know
Where it is that dukkha is destroyed.”

(6:30)
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21. Causes for the Origination of Actions

There are three causes for the origination of actions. [41] Greed is a cause for the origination of actions. Hatred is a cause for the origination of actions. Delusion is a cause for the origination of actions.

It is not non-greed, O monks, that arises from greed; it is rather greed that arises again from greed. It is not non-hatred that arises from hatred; it is rather hatred that arises again from hatred. It is not non-delusion that arises from delusion; it is rather delusion that arises again from delusion.

It is not through actions born of greed, hatred, and delusion that there is the appearance of devas, of humans or of any other creatures belonging to a good destination; it is rather beings of the hells, of the animal realm, of the sphere of ghosts or any others of a bad destination that appear through actions born of greed, hatred, and delusion.

These are the three causes for the origin of unwholesome actions.

There are three other causes for the origination of actions. Non-greed is a cause for the origination of actions, non-hatred is a cause for the origination of actions, non-delusion is a cause for the origination of actions.

It is not greed, O monks, that arises from non-greed; it is rather non-greed that arises again from non-greed. It is not hatred that arises from non-hatred; it is rather non-hatred that arises again from non-hatred. It is not delusion that arises from non-delusion; it is rather non-delusion that arises again from non-delusion.

It is not through actions born of non-greed, non-hatred, and non-delusion that there is the appearance of beings of the hells, of the animal realm, of the sphere of ghosts or any others of a bad destination; it is rather devas, humans or any other creatures belonging to a good destination that appear through actions born of non-greed, non-hatred, and non-delusion.

These are the three causes for the origin of wholesome actions.

(6:39)
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22. Don’t Judge Others!

Once the Venerable Ananda, having dressed in the morning, took his bowl and went to the house of the female lay disciple Migasala, where he sat down on the seat prepared for him. The female lay disciple Migasala, after having paid homage to him, sat down to one side and said to him:

“Please, venerable sir, how ought one to understand this teaching taught by the Blessed One: namely, that one who leads the pure, celibate life and one who does not should both have the very same status after death? My father Purana, venerable sir, was (in his later years) a celibate, living remote from sensuality, abstaining from the low sexual life; and when my father died, the Blessed One declared that he had attained to the state of a once-returner and had been reborn among the Tusita devas. [42]

“But then, venerable sir, there was my father’s brother Isidatta, who was not a celibate but lived a contented married life. When he died the Blessed One said that he too was a once-returner and had been reborn among the Tusita devas.

“Now, Venerable Ananda, how ought one to understand this statement of the Blessed One, that both had the very same status?”

“Well, sister, it was just in that way that the Blessed One had declared it.”

When the Venerable Ananda had taken his alms-food at the house of the female lay disciple Migasala, he rose from his seat and left. And in the afternoon, after meal time, he went to the Blessed One, paid homage to him, and sat down to one side. So seated, he told the Blessed One what had occurred.

The Blessed One said: “Who, indeed, is this female lay disciple Migasala, this foolish, inexperienced woman with a woman’s wit? And who (in comparison) are those who have the knowledge of other persons’ different qualities? [43]

“There are, Ananda, six types of persons found existing in the world. What six?

(1) “There is one person, Ananda, who is gentle, a pleasant companion, with whom his fellow monks gladly live together. But he has not heard the teachings and acquired much learning, he has no keen understanding nor has he attained even temporary liberation of mind. [44] With the breakup of the body, after death, he will be set for decline, not for progress; he will deteriorate and not rise higher.

(2) “Then there is one who is gentle, a pleasant companion, with whom his fellow monks gladly live together. And he has heard the teachings and acquired much learning; he has a keen understanding and has attained temporary liberation of mind. With the breakup of the body, after death, he is set for progress, not for decline; he will rise higher and will not deteriorate.

“Then, Ananda, the critics will pass such judgement: ’This one has the same qualities as the other. Why, then, should one be inferior and the other better?’ Such judgement, indeed, will for a long time cause harm and suffering to those critics.

“Now, Ananda, one who has heard the teachings and acquired much learning, who has a keen understanding and attains a temporary liberation of mind—such a one surpasses and excels the other person. And why? Because the Dhamma-stream carries him along. But who can be aware of these differences except a Tathagata, a Perfect One?

“Therefore, Ananda, you should not be a hasty critic of people, should not lightly pass judgement on people. One who passes judgement on people harms himself. I alone, Ananda, or one like me, can judge people.

(3) “Further, there is a person prone to anger and pride, and from time to time states of greed rise up in him. And he has not heard the teachings or acquired much learning; he has no keen understanding, nor has he attained even temporary liberation of mind. With the breakup of the body, after death, he will be set for decline, not for progress; he will deteriorate and not rise higher.

(4) “Then there is one likewise prone to anger and pride, and from time to time states of greed rise up in him. But he has heard the teachings and acquired much learning; he has keen understanding and has attained temporary liberation of mind. With the breakup of the body, after death, he is set for progress, not for decline; he will rise higher and will not deteriorate.

“Then, Ananda, the critics will pass such judgement: ’This one has the same qualities as the other. Why, then, should one be inferior and the other better?’ Such judgement, indeed, will for a long time cause harm and suffering to those critics.

“Now, Ananda, one who has heard the teachings … surpasses and excels the other person. And why? Because the Dhamma-stream carries him along. But who can be aware of these differences except a Tathagata, a Perfect One?

“Therefore, Ananda, you should not be a hasty critic of people….

(5) “Further, there is another person prone to anger and pride, and from time to time verbosity rises up in him. And he has not heard the teachings and acquired much learning; he has no keen understanding nor has he attained even temporary liberation of mind. With the breakup of the body, after death, he will be set for decline, not for progress; he will deteriorate and not rise higher.

(6) “Then there is one likewise prone to anger and pride, and from time to time verbosity rises up in him. But he has heard the teachings and acquired much learning; he has keen understanding and has attained temporary liberation of mind. With the breakup of the body, after death, he is set for progress, not for decline; he will rise higher and will not deteriorate.

“Then, Ananda, the critics will pass such judgement: ’This one has the same qualities as the other. Why, then, should one be inferior and the other better?’ Such judgement, indeed, will for a long time cause harm and suffering to those critics.

“Now, Ananda, one who has heard the teachings and acquired much learning, who has keen understanding and attains temporary liberation of mind—such a one surpasses and excels the other person. And why? Because the Dhamma-stream carries him along. But who can be aware of these differences except a Tathagata, a Perfect One?

“Therefore, Ananda, you should not be a hasty critic of people, should not lightly pass judgement on people. He who passes judgement on people harms himself. I alone, Ananda, or one like me, can judge people.

“Who, indeed, Ananda, is this female lay disciple Migasala, this foolish, inexperienced woman, with a woman’s wit? And who (in comparison) are those who have the knowledge of other persons’ different qualities?

“These, Ananda, are the six types of persons to be found in this world.

“If Isidatta had possessed the same degree of virtue that Purana had, Purana could not have equalled Isidatta’s status. And if Purana had possessed the same wisdom that Isidatta had, Isidatta could not have equalled Purana’s status. [45] These two persons, however, were each deficient in one respect.”

(6:44)
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23. Poverty

“Poverty, O monks, is suffering in the world for one who enjoys sensual pleasures.”—”So it is, Lord.”

“And if a pauper, one destitute and indigent, gets into debt, his indebtedness, too, is suffering in the world for one who enjoys sensual pleasures.”—”So it is Lord.”

“And if that poor man, being indebted, promises to pay interest, this payment of interest, too, is suffering in the world for one who enjoys sensual pleasures.”—”So it is Lord.”

“And if that poor man cannot pay the interest that falls due and he is pressed by the creditors, such pressure, too, is suffering in the world for one who enjoys sensual pleasures.”—”So it is Lord.”

“And if, being pressed, that poor man still cannot pay and the creditors are constantly after him, such harassment, too, is suffering in the world for one who enjoys sensual pleasures.”—”So it is Lord.”

“And if, being harassed and still unable to pay, that poor man is thrown into jail, this imprisonment too is suffering in the world for one who enjoys sensual pleasures.”—”So it is Lord.”

“Thus, O monks, poverty, indebtedness, the paying of interest, being pressed and harassed by creditors, and imprisonment—all these are suffering in the world for one who enjoys sensual pleasures.

“Similar, O monks, is it with anyone who lacks faith in wholesome qualities, who has no sense of shame or moral dread in regard to wholesome qualities, no energy or wisdom in regard to wholesome qualities. Such a one is called poor, destitute, and indigent in the Discipline of the Noble One.

“If now such a man who is poor, destitute and indigent through his lack of faith, shame, moral dread, energy and wisdom concerning wholesome qualities, conducts himself badly in deeds, words, and thoughts, this I call his getting into debt.

“If, to cover up his bad conduct in deeds, words, and thoughts, he harbours in himself evil wishes; if he desires, plans, chooses his words, and tries to act in such a way that nobody may come to know his nature—this I call the interest (to be paid on his moral debts). [46]

“Then virtuous monks speak about him thus: ’This venerable monk acts thus; he behaves in such and such a way.’ This I call the pressure on him.

“If he resorts to the forest, the foot of a tree or a solitary place, he is pursued by evil, unwholesome thoughts connected with remorse. This I call his being harassed.

“Such a (morally) poor, destitute, and indigent person of bad conduct, with the breakup of the body, after death, will be bound by the bonds of hell or the bonds of the animal realm. And I know of no other imprisonment, monks, that is so cruel, so harsh, so painful and such an obstacle to attaining the unsurpassed security from bondage as the bonds of hell and of the animal realm.”

(6:45)
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24. Scholars and Meditators

Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Venerable Mahacunda was dwelling at Sahajati among the Ceti people. There he addressed the monks thus:

“Friends, there are monks who are keen on Dhamma [47] and they disparage those monks who are meditators, saying: ’Look at those monks! They think, “We are meditating, we are meditating!” And so they meditate to and meditate fro, meditate up and meditate down! [48] What, then, do they meditate about and why do they meditate?’ Thereby neither these monks keen on Dhamma nor the meditators will be pleased, and they will not be practising for the welfare and happiness of the multitude, for the good of the multitude, for the welfare and happiness of devas and humans. [49]

“Then, friends, there are meditating monks who disparage the monks who are keen on Dhamma, saying: ’Look at those monks! They think, “We are Dhamma-experts, we are Dhamma-experts!” And therefore they are conceited, puffed up and vain; they are talkative and voluble. They are devoid of mindfulness and clear comprehension, and they lack concentration; their thoughts wander and their senses are uncontrolled. What then makes them Dhamma-experts, why and how are they Dhamma-experts?’ Thereby neither these meditating monks nor those keen on Dhamma will be pleased, and they will not be practising for the welfare and happiness of the multitude, for the good of the multitude, for the welfare and happiness of devas and humans.

“There are Dhamma-experts who praise only monks who are also Dhamma-experts but not those who are meditators. And there are meditators who praise only those monks who are also meditators but not those who are Dhamma-experts. Thereby neither of them will be pleased, and they will not be practising for the welfare and happiness of the multitude, for the good of the multitude, for the welfare and happiness of devas and humans.

“Therefore, friends, you should train yourselves thus: ’Though we ourselves are Dhamma-experts, we will praise also those monks who are meditators.’ And why? Such outstanding persons are rare in the world who have personal experience of the deathless element (Nibbana).

“And the other monks, too, should train themselves thus: ’Though we ourselves are meditators, we will praise also those monks who are Dhamma-experts.’ And why? Such outstanding persons are rare in the world who can by their wisdom clearly understand a difficult subject.”

(6:46)
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25. The Visible Teaching

Once a wandering ascetic, Moliya Sivaka, addressed the Blessed One as follows:

“It is said, venerable sir, ’The Dhamma is directly visible.’ In what way, venerable sir, is the Dhamma directly visible, immediate, inviting one to come and see, worthy of application, to be personally experienced by the wise?” [50]

“Well, Sivaka, I shall in return question you about this. You may answer as you see fit.

“What do you think, Sivaka: when there is greed in you, will you know, ’There is greed in me’? And when there is no greed in you, will you know, ’There is no greed in me’?”—”Yes, venerable sir, I shall know.”

“If you thus know of the greed present in you that it is there; and when greed is absent that it is absent—that is a way the Dhamma is directly visible.

“What do you think, Sivaka: when there is hatred or delusion in you, will you know, ’There is hatred … There is delusion in me’? And when there is no hatred … no delusion in you, will you know, ’There is no hatred … no delusion in me’?”—”Yes, venerable sir, I shall know.”

“If you thus know of the hatred or delusion present in you that they are there; and when hatred or delusion are absent that they are absent—that is a way the Dhamma is directly visible. [51]

“In this way, Sivaka, the Dhamma is directly visible, immediate, inviting one to come and see, worthy of application, to be personally experienced by the wise”

(6:47)
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26. Professing Enlightenment

On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Savatthi in Jeta’s Grove, Anathapindika’s monastery. At that time the Venerable Khema and the Venerable Sumana were dwelling in the Dark Forest near Savatthi. One day both went to see the Blessed One. Having arrived, they paid homage to the Blessed One and sat down to one side, and the Venerable Khema addressed the Blessed One as follows:

“A monk, Lord, who is an arahat, one with taints destroyed, who has lived the holy life, done his task, laid down the burden, attained his goal, discarded the fetters of becoming, and is liberated by final knowledge—he has no such thought, ’There is one better than I; there is one who is equal; there is one who is worse.’“ [52] Thus the Venerable Khema spoke and the Teacher approved. Knowing the Teacher’s approval, the Venerable Khema rose from his seat, paid homage to the Blessed One and left.

Soon after he had left, the Venerable Sumana addressed the Blessed One thus:

“A monk, O Lord, who is an arahat, one with taints destroyed, who has lived the holy life, done his task, laid down the burden, attained his goal, discarded the fetters of becoming and is liberated by final knowledge—he has no such thought, ’There is none better than I; there is none who is equal; there is none worse.’“ Thus the Venerable Sumana spoke and the Teacher approved. Knowing the Teacher’s approval, the Venerable Sumana rose from his seat, paid homage to the Blessed One and left.

Soon after the Venerable Khema and the Venerable Sumana had left, the Blessed One addressed the monks, saying:

“It is in such a way, monks, that noble sons declare final knowledge: the fact is mentioned, but there is no allusion to self. Yet there are some foolish persons who declare in a rather lighthearted manner that they have attained final knowledge. But afterwards distress will befall them.”

They do not consider themselves better,
Nor equal, nor worse.
With birth destroyed, free from fetters,
They live the pure holy life.

(6:49)
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27. Step by Step

If there is no sense control, O monks, then the basis for virtue is destroyed for one who lacks sense control. If there is no virtue, then the basis for right concentration is destroyed for one who lacks virtue. If there is no right concentration, then the basis for knowledge and vision of things as they really are is destroyed for one who lacks right concentration. If there is no knowledge and vision of things as they really are, then the basis for revulsion and dispassion is destroyed for one who lacks such knowledge and vision. If there is no revulsion and dispassion, then the basis for the knowledge and vision of liberation is destroyed for one who lacks revulsion and dispassion. [53]

This is like a tree without branches and foliage: the buds will not mature; nor will the bark, the greenwood, and the heartwood mature. Similarly, if sense control is absent, there will be no basis for virtue … for knowledge and vision of liberation.

But if there is sense control, O monks, virtue will have a basis for one who possesses sense control. If there is virtue, right concentration will have a basis for one who possesses virtue. If there is right concentration, knowledge and vision of things as they really are will have a basis for one who possesses right concentration. If there is knowledge and vision of things as they really are, revulsion and dispassion will have basis for one who possesses such knowledge and vision of things as they really are. If there is revulsion and dispassion, the knowledge and vision of liberation will have a basis for one who possesses revulsion and dispassion.

This is like a tree with branches and foliage intact: the buds will mature, and so also the bark, the greenwood and the heartwood will mature. Similarly, if sense control is present, this will provide a basis for virtue … for knowledge and vision of liberation.

(6:50)
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28. The Aims of People

Once the brahmin Janussoni approached the Blessed One and asked:

“What, Master Gotama, is a noble’s aim, what is his quest, his mainstay, his desire and his ideal?” [54]

“Wealth, O brahmin, is a noble’s aim, his quest is for knowledge, his mainstay is power, his desire is to rule the earth and his ideal is sovereignty.” [55]

“And what, Master Gotama, is a brahmin’s aim?”

“Wealth, O brahmin, is a brahmin’s aim, his quest is for knowledge, his mainstay is his sacred texts, his desire is for sacrifices and his ideal is the Brahma-world.”

“And what, Master Gotama, is a householder’s aim?”

“Wealth, O brahmin, is a householder’s aim, his quest is for knowledge, his mainstay is his craft, his desire is for work and his ideal is to bring his work to an end.”

“And what Master Gotama, is a woman’s aim?”

“A man, O brahmin, is a woman’s aim, her quest is for adornments, her mainstay is sons, [56] her desire is to be without a co-wife and her ideal is domination.”

“And what, Master Gotama, is a thief’s aim?”

“Robbery, O brahmin, is a thief’s aim, his quest is for a hiding-place, his mainstay is weapons, his desire is darkness, and his ideal is not to be found out.”

“And what, Master Gotama, is an ascetic’s aim?”

“Patience and purity, O brahmin, are an ascetic’s aim, his quest is for knowledge, his mainstay is virtue, his desire is to be unencumbered and his ideal is Nibbana.”

“It is wonderful, Master Gotama! It is marvellous, Master Gotama! Truly, Master Gotama knows the aim, quest, mainstay, desire, and ideal of nobles, brahmins, householders, women, thieves and ascetics. Excellent, Master Gotama!… Let Master Gotama accept me as a lay follower who has gone for refuge from this day until life’s end.”

(6:52)
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29. The Simile of the Lute

Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Rajagaha on Mount Vulture Peak. On that occasion the Venerable Sona was dwelling in the Cool Forest, near Rajagaha. [57]

While the Venerable Sona dwelt there alone and secluded, this thought occurred to him: “I am one of the most energetic disciples of the Blessed One, yet my mind has not attained liberation from the taints by non-clinging. Now my family is wealthy, and I can enjoy my wealth and do meritorious deeds. Let me then give up the training, return to the lower state (of a layman), enjoy my wealth and do meritorious deeds.”

Then the Blessed One, perceiving in his own mind the Venerable Sona’s thoughts, left Mount Vulture Peak; and, as speedily as a strong man might stretch his bent arm or bend his stretched arm, he appeared in the Cool Forest before the Venerable Sona. There he sat down on a seat prepared for him. The Venerable Sona, having paid homage to the Blessed One, sat down to one side, and the Blessed One said to him:

“Sona, weren’t you just now thinking of giving up the training and returning to lay life?”

“Yes, Lord.”

“Tell me, Sona, when in earlier days you lived at home, were you not skilled in playing the lute?”—”Yes, Lord.”

“And, Sona, when the strings of your lute were too taut, was your lute well tuned and easy to play?”—”No, Lord.”

“And when the strings of your lute were too loose, was your lute well tuned and easy to play?”—”No, Lord.”

“But, Sona, when the strings of your lute were neither too taut nor too loose, but adjusted to an even pitch, was your lute then well tuned and easy to play?”—”Yes, Lord.”

“Similarly, Sona, if energy is applied too forcefully it will lead to restlessness, and if energy is too lax it will lead to lassitude. Therefore, Sona, keep your energy in balance, penetrate to a balance of the spiritual faculties, and there seize your object.” [58]

“Yes, Lord,” the Venerable Sona replied in assent.

When the Blessed One had admonished the Venerable Sona with this exhortation, he vanished instantly from the Cool Forest and appeared again on Mount Vulture Peak.

Afterwards the Venerable Sona kept his energy balanced, penetrated to a balance of the spiritual faculties, and there seized his object. And the Venerable Sona, living alone and secluded, diligent, ardent and resolute, soon realized here and now, by his own direct knowledge, that unsurpassed goal of the holy life for the sake of which sons of good family rightly go forth from home to the homeless life, and entering upon it he dwelt therein. And he knew: “Destroyed is birth, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no more for this world.” And the Venerable Sona became one of the arahats.

Having reached arahatship, the Venerable Sona thought: “Let me go to the Blessed One and in his presence declare final knowledge.” And the Venerable Sona went to the Blessed One, paid homage to him, and sat down to one side. So seated, he said to the Blessed One:

“A monk, O Lord, who is an arahat, one with taints destroyed, who has lived the holy life, done his task, laid down the burden, attained his goal, discarded the fetters of becoming, and is liberated by final knowledge—he is dedicated to six things: he is dedicated to renunciation, to solitude, to non-harming, to the destruction of craving, to the destruction of clinging and to non-confusion.

“Perhaps, Lord, one of the venerables here might think: ’Could it be that this venerable one is dedicated to renunciation just by relying on faith alone?’ But one should not see it in that way. A monk with taints destroyed, who has lived the holy life, done his task and does not see in himself anything still to be done or to be added to what was done—such a one is dedicated to renunciation because he is free from lust through the destruction of lust; because he is free from hatred through the destruction of hatred; because he is free from delusion through the absence of delusion.

“Perhaps, Lord, one of the venerable ones here might think: ’Could it be that this venerable one is dedicated to solitude because he hankers after gain, honour and fame?… And could it be that he is dedicated to non-harming because he thinks it essential to adhere to rules and vows?’ But one should not see it in that way. A monk with taints destroyed, who has lived the holy life, done his task and does not see in himself anything still to be done or to be added to what was done—such a one is dedicated to solitude … dedicated to non-harming because he is free from lust through the destruction of lust; because he is free from hatred through the destruction of hatred; because he is free from delusion through the absence of delusion.

“It is because of his destruction of lust, hatred, and delusion, because of their absence, that he is dedicated to the destruction of craving, dedicated to the destruction of clinging, dedicated to non-confusion.

“Lord, even if forms cognizable by the eye strongly impinge on the eye faculty of a monk with a fully liberated mind, they do not overpower his mind; his heart remains untinged by them; firm and imperturbable he contemplates their transience. Even if sounds cognizable by the ear … odours cognizable by the nose … tastes cognizable by the tongue … tactile objects cognizable by the body … mind-objects cognizable by the mind strongly impinge on the mind faculty of a monk with a fully liberated mind, they do not overpower his mind; his heart remains untinged by them; firm and imperturbable he contemplates their transience.

“If, Lord, there were a rocky mountain of one solid mass, without clefts or fissures, and from any of the four directions a tempestuous rainstorm should lash down upon it, that rock could not be moved by it, could not be shaken, could not be stirred. Similarly, even very strong sense impressions will not overpower a monk whose mind is fully liberated; his mind remains untinged by them; firm and imperturbable he contemplates their transience.”

If one is bent on renunciation and solitude,
Intent on harmlessness, on the end of clinging;
If one is bent on an end to craving,
Dedicated to unconfused vision,
When one has seen the arising of the sense bases,
One’s mind will be entirely released.
For the monk thus freed, with peaceful mind,
There is no need to add to what he has done,
No further task or duty to perform.
Just as a rocky mountain is not moved by storms,
So sights, sounds, tastes, smells, contacts and ideas,
Whether desirable or undesirable,
Will never stir one of steady nature,
Whose mind is firm and free,
Who sees how all things pass.

(6:55)
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30. A Penetrative Exposition

“I shall teach you, monks, a penetrative exposition, [59] a Dhamma exposition. Listen to it and attend carefully. I shall speak.”—”Yes, Lord,” the monks replied. The Blessed One then spoke thus:

“What now, O monks, is that penetrative exposition, that Dhamma exposition?

Sensual desires should be known; the conditioned origin of sensual desires should be known; their diversity, their outcome, their cessation, and the way leading to their cessation should be known.

Feelings should be known; the conditioned origin of feelings should be known; their diversity, their outcome, their cessation, and the way leading to their cessation should be known.

Perceptions … The taints … Kamma … Suffering should be known; the conditioned origin of suffering should be known; its diversity, its outcome, its cessation, and the way leading to its cessation should be known.

(1) It was said that sensual desires should be known, their conditioned origin, and so forth should be known. [60] Because of what was this said?

There are five cords of sensual pleasure, namely: forms cognizable by the eye that are desirable, attractive, pleasant, endearing, associated with sensuality, and tantalizing; sounds cognizable by the ear … odours cognizable by the nose … tastes cognizable by the tongue … tactile objects cognizable by the body that are desirable, attractive, pleasant, endearing, associated with sensuality, and tantalizing. These, however, are not truly sensuality; in the Noble One’s Discipline they are called merely ’cords of sensual pleasure.’ A man’s sensuality lies in thoughts of passion.

Sensuality does not lie in the world’s pretty things;
A man’s sensuality lies in thoughts of passion.
While the world’s pretty things remain as they are,
The wise remove the desire for them. [61]

And what, monks, is the conditioned origin of sensual desires? It is contact that is their conditioned origin. [62]

And what, monks, is the diversity of sensual desires? There is one sensual desire for forms, another for sounds, for odours, for tastes, and for tactile objects. This is called the diversity of sensual desires.

And what, monks, is the outcome of sensual desires? One motivated by sensual desire produces personalized existence born of this or that desire, belonging either to the meritorious or the demeritorious. This is called the outcome of sensual desires. [63]

And what, monks, is the cessation of sensual desires? Through the cessation of contact there is cessation of sensual desires.

And it is this Noble Eightfold Path that is the way leading to the cessation of sensual desires, namely, right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration.

If, monks, a noble disciple in such a way knows sensual desires; if in such a way he knows the conditioned origin, the diversity, the outcome and the cessation of sensual desires, and the way leading to their cessation— he knows this penetrative holy life as the cessation of sensual desires. [64]

Because of this it was said that sensual desires should be known, their conditioned origin and so forth should be known.

(2) It was said that feelings should be known, their conditioned origin and so forth should be known. Because of what was this said?

There are, monks, these three kinds of feeling: pleasant feeling, painful feeling, and neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling.

And what, monks, is the conditioned origin of feelings? It is contact that is their conditioned origin.

And what, monks, is the diversity of feelings? There are pleasant feelings that are carnal or non-carnal; unpleasant feelings that are carnal or non-carnal; and neither-painful-nor-pleasant feelings that are carnal or non-carnal. This is called the diversity of feelings.

And what, monks, is the outcome of feelings? One who feels produces personalized existence born of this or that feeling, [65] belonging either to the meritorious or the demeritorious. This is called the outcome of feelings.

And what, monks, is the cessation of feelings? Through the cessation of contact there is cessation of feelings.

And it is this Noble Eightfold Path that is the way leading to the cessation of feelings, namely, right view … right concentration.

If, monks, a noble disciple in such a way knows feelings; if in such a way he knows the conditioned origin, the diversity, the outcome and the cessation of feelings, and the way leading to their cessation—he knows this penetrative holy life as the cessation of feelings.

Because of this it was said that feelings should be known, their conditioned origin and so forth should be known.

(3) It was said that perceptions should be known, their conditioned origin and so forth should be known. Because of what was this said?

There are, monks, these six kinds of perception: perception of forms, of sounds, of odours, of tastes, of tactile objects, and of mind-objects.

And what, monks, is the conditioned origin of perceptions? It is contact that is their conditioned origin.

And what, monks, is the diversity of perceptions? There is one perception pertaining to forms, and others pertaining to sounds, odours, tastes, tactile objects, and mind-objects.

And what, monks, is the outcome of perceptions? Perceptions, I say, have communication by speech as their outcome. As one perceives a thing, so one expresses it, saying: ’So I have perceived it.’

And what, monks, is the cessation of perceptions? Through the cessation of contact there is cessation of perceptions.

And it is this Noble Eightfold Path that is the way leading to the cessation of perceptions, namely, right view … right concentration.

If, monks, a noble disciple in such a way knows perceptions; if in such a way he knows the conditioned origin, the diversity, the outcome and the cessation of perceptions, and the way leading to their cessation—he knows this penetrative holy life as the cessation of perceptions.

Because of this it was said that perceptions should be known, their conditioned origin and so forth should be known.

(4) It was said that the taintsshould be known, their conditioned origin and so forth should be known. Because of what was this said?

There are, monks, these three taints: the taint of sensual desire, the taint of desire for becoming, and the taint of ignorance.

And what, monks, is the conditioned origin of the taints? It is ignorance that is their conditioned origin. [66]

And what, monks, is the diversity of taints? There are taints leading to the hells, to the animal realm, to the sphere of ghosts, to the human world, and to the heavenly realms.

And what, monks, is the outcome of the taints? One immersed in ignorance produces personalized existence born of this or that taint, belonging either to the meritorious or the demeritorious. This is called the outcome of the taints.

And what, monks, is the cessation of the taints? Through the cessation of ignorance there is cessation of the taints.

And it is this Noble Eightfold Path that is the way leading to the cessation of the taints, namely, right view … right concentration.

If, monks, a noble disciple in such a way knows the taints; if in such a way he knows the conditioned origin, the diversity, the outcome and the cessation of the taints, and the way leading to their cessation—he knows this penetrative holy life as the cessation of the taints.

Because of this it was said that the taints should be known, their conditioned origin and so forth should be known.

(5) It was said that kamma should be known, its conditioned origin and so forth should be known. Because of what was this said?

It is volition, monks, that I declare to be kamma. [67] Having willed, one performs an action by body, speech or mind.

And what, monks, is the conditioned origin of kamma? It is contact that is its conditioned origin.

And what, monks, is the diversity of kamma? There is kamma leading to the hells, to the animal realm, to the sphere of ghosts, to the human world, and to the heavenly realms.

And what, monks, is the outcome of kamma? Kamma, I declare, has a threefold outcome: in this life, in the next life, or in subsequent future lives. [68]

And what, monks, is the cessation of kamma? Through the cessation of contact there is cessation of kamma.

And it is this Noble Eightfold Path that is the way leading to the cessation of kamma, namely, right view … right concentration.

If, monks, a noble disciple in such a way knows kamma; if in such a way he knows the conditioned origin, the diversity, the outcome and the cessation of kamma, and the way leading to its cessation—he knows this penetrative holy life as the cessation of kamma.

Because of this it was said that kamma should be known, its conditioned origin and so forth should be known.

(6) It was said that suffering should be known, its conditioned origin and so forth should be known. Because of what was this said?

Birth is suffering; ageing is suffering; illness is suffering; death is suffering; sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair are suffering; not to get what one wants is suffering; in brief, the five aggregates subject to clinging are suffering.

And what, monks, is the conditioned origin of suffering? Craving is the conditioned origin of suffering.

And what, monks, is the diversity of suffering? There is intense suffering and moderate suffering; there is suffering that fades away slowly and suffering that fades away quickly.

And what, monks, is the outcome of suffering? There is a person who is overwhelmed by suffering, his mind in the grip of suffering: he grieves, moans, laments, beats his breast, weeps and becomes deranged; or in his misery he searches outside for a remedy: ’Who knows a word or two for bringing my suffering to an end?’ Hence I say, the outcome of suffering is either derangement or search.

And what, monks, is the cessation of suffering? With the cessation of craving there is cessation of suffering.

And it is this Noble Eightfold Path that is the way leading to the cessation of suffering, namely, right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration.

If, monks, a noble disciple in such a way knows suffering; if in such a way he knows the conditioned origin, the diversity, the outcome and the cessation of suffering, and the way leading to its cessation—he knows this penetrative holy life as the cessation of suffering.

Because of this it was said that suffering should be known, its conditioned origin and so forth should be known.

This, O monks, is the penetrative exposition, a Dhamma exposition.”

(6:63)
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31. Non-returning

Without having given up six qualities, O monks, one will be incapable of realizing the fruit of non-returning. [69] What six? Lack of faith, lack of moral shame, lack of moral dread, laziness, lack of mindfulness and lack of wisdom. But by giving up these six qualities one will be capable of realizing the fruit of non-returning.

(6:65)
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32. Arahatship

Without having given up six qualities, O monks, one will be incapable of realizing arahatship. What six?

(AN 6:66) Sloth, torpor, restlessness, worry, lack of faith, and negligence.

(AN 6:76) Conceit, inferiority-conceit, superiority-conceit, self-overrating, obstinacy, and servility.

But by giving up these six qualities one will be capable of realizing arahatship.

(6:66, 76)
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33. Six Rarities

These six things, O monks, rarely appear in the world: Rare in the world is the appearance of a Tathagata. Rare in the world is the appearance of one who teaches the Dhamma and Discipline proclaimed by the Tathagata. Rare in the world is it to be reborn in the land of the noble ones. Rare in the world is the possession of unimpaired physical and mental faculties. Rare in the world is absence of stupidity and dullness. Rare in the world is a desire for wholesome qualities. [70]

(6:96)
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34. The Blessings of Stream-entry

There are, O monks, these six blessings in realizing the fruit of stream-entry: One is firm in the good Dhamma. One is unable to fall back. One has set a limit to suffering. One is endowed with uncommon knowledge. One has clearly understood causes and the phenomena arisen by causes. [71]

(6:97)
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35. Conviction in Conformity with the Dhamma

Truly, O monks, that a monk who considers any formation as permanent; any formation as pleasant; anything as a self; Nibbana as suffering, can have a conviction that conforms with the Dhamma, [72] that cannot be; and that one who is without a conviction that conforms with the Dhamma should enter into the certainty of rightness, that too cannot be; and that one who has not entered into the certainty of rightness should realize the fruits of stream-entry, once-returning, non-returning, or arahatship, that too cannot be. [73]

(6:98–101; combined)

36. Advantages of Contemplating Impermanence

When a monk sees six advantages, it should be enough for him to establish the perception of impermanence in all formations without exception. What six?

“All formations will appear to me as transient. My mind will not delight in anything worldly. My mind will emerge from all the world. My mind will incline to Nibbana. The fetters will be discarded by me. And I shall be endowed with the status of a supreme ascetic.” [74]

(6:102)
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37. Advantages of Contemplating Suffering

When a monk sees six advantages, it should be enough for him to establish the perception of suffering in all formations without exception. What six?

“A perception of revulsion will be present in me towards all formations, as towards a murderer with raised sword. My mind will emerge from all the world. I shall come to see the peace in Nibbana. The underlying tendencies will come to be uprooted. I shall be one who has completed his task. And I shall have served the Master with loving-kindness.” [75]

(6:103)
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38. Advantages of Contemplating Non-self

When a monk sees six advantages, it should be enough for him to establish the perception of non-self in all things without exception. [76] What six?

“I shall be aloof from all the world. Notions of ’I’ will vanish in me. Notions of ’mine’ will vanish in me. I shall be endowed with uncommon knowledge. I shall clearly understand causes and the phenomena arisen from causes.”

(6:104)
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The Chapter of the Sevens

39. Getting Rid of Drowsiness

Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling in the Bhagga country near the town of Sumsumaragiri, in the Deer Park at the Bhesakala Grove. On that occasion the Venerable Mahamoggallana, dwelling in Magadha near the village of Kallavalamutta, was nodding in his seat. [77]

The Blessed One saw this with the divine eye, purified and superhuman. Having seen this, he vanished from the Deer Park at the Bhesakala Grove and, as speedily as a strong man might stretch his bent arm or bend his stretched arm, he appeared before the Venerable Mahamoggallana. The Blessed One sat down on the seat prepared for him and said to the Venerable Mahamoggallana:

“Are you nodding, Moggallana, are you nodding?”—”Yes, Lord.”

(1) “Well then, Moggallana, at whatever thought drowsiness befalls you, you should not give attention to that thought. Then, by doing so, it is possible that your drowsiness will vanish.

(2) “But if, by doing so, your drowsiness does not vanish, then you should ponder the Dhamma as you have learnt it and mastered it, you should examine it and investigate it closely in your mind. Then, by doing so, it is possible that your drowsiness will vanish.

(3) “But if, by doing so, your drowsiness does not vanish, then you should recite in detail the Dhamma as you have learnt it and mastered it. Then, by doing so, it is possible that your drowsiness will vanish.

(4) “But if, by doing so, your drowsiness does not vanish, then you should pull both ear-lobes and rub your limbs with your hand. Then, by doing so, it is possible that your drowsiness will vanish.

(5) “But if, by doing so, your drowsiness does not vanish, you should get up from your seat and, after washing your eyes with water, you should look around in all directions and upwards to the stars and constellations. Then, by doing so, it is possible that your drowsiness will vanish.

(6) “But if, by doing so, your drowsiness does not vanish, then you should attend to the perception of light, resolve upon the perception of daytime: as by day, so at night, as at night, so by day. Thus, with an open and unencumbered heart, you should develop a luminous mind. Then, by doing so, it is possible that your drowsiness will vanish.

(7) “But if, by doing so, your drowsiness does not vanish, then, with your senses turned inward and your mind not straying outward, you should take to walking up and down, being aware of going to and fro. Then, by doing so, it is possible that your drowsiness will vanish.

“But if, by doing so, your drowsiness does not vanish, then, mindful and clearly comprehending, you may lie down, lion-like, on your right side, placing one foot on the other, keeping in mind the thought of rising; and on awakening, you should quickly get up, thinking, ’I must not indulge in the pleasure of resting and reclining, in the pleasure of sleep.’

“Thus, Moggallana, should you train yourself.

“Further, Moggallana, you should train yourself by thinking: You should think, ’When calling at families (on the alms round), I shall not be given to pride.’ Thus should you train yourself.

“For in families it may happen that people are busy with work and may not notice that a monk has come. Then a monk (if given to pride) may think, ’Who, I wonder, has estranged me from this family? These people seem to be displeased with me.’ Thus, by not receiving (alms-food from them), he is perturbed; being perturbed, he becomes excited; being excited, he loses self-control; and if he is uncontrolled, his mind will be far from concentration.

“Further, Moggallana, you should train yourself in this way: ’I shall not speak contentious talk.’ Thus should you train yourself. If there is contentious talk, there is sure to be much wordiness; with much wordiness, there will be excitement; he who is excited will loose self-control; and if he is uncontrolled, his mind will be far from concentration.

“I do not, Moggallana, praise all companionship, nor do I blame all companionship. I do not praise companionship with monks and lay folk. But companionship with dwellings where there are few sounds and little noise, which are fanned by cool breezes, remote from human habitation, suitable for seclusion—this do I praise.”

After these words the Venerable Mahamoggallana said to the Blessed One: “In what way, Lord, can it be explained briefly how a monk is liberated through the elimination of craving—one who has reached the final end, the final security from bondage, the final holy life, the final consummation, and is foremost among devas and humans?” [78]

“Here, Moggallana, a monk has learnt this: ’Nothing is fit to be clung to.’ [79] If a monk has learnt that nothing is fit to be clung to, he directly knows everything; by directly knowing everything, he fully understands everything; when he fully understands everything, whatever feeling he experiences, be it pleasant, painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant, in regard to those same feelings he dwells contemplating impermanence, contemplating dispassion, contemplating cessation, contemplating relinquishment. [80] When he thus abides contemplating impermanence, dispassion, cessation, and relinquishment in regard to those feelings, he does not cling to anything in the world; without clinging he is not agitated; being unagitated, he personally attains Nibbana. He understands: ’Destroyed is birth, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no more for this world.’

“That, Moggallana, briefly put, is how a monk is liberated through the elimination of craving—one who has reached the final end, the final security from bondage, the final holy life, the final consummation, and is foremost among devas and humans.” [81]

(7:58A)
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40. Loving-kindness [82]

Monks, do not be afraid of deeds of merit! [83] They are equivalent to happiness, these deeds of merit. For I know very well that for a long time I have experienced desirable, pleasant and agreeable results from meritorious deeds often performed.

For seven years I cultivated thoughts of loving-kindness. Having cultivated a heart full of loving-kindness for seven years, I did not return to this world for seven aeons of world-contraction and world-expansion. [84] Whenever a world was destroyed, I entered (by way of rebirth) among the devas of Streaming Radiance, and when the world unfolded again, I was reborn in an empty Brahma-palace. [85] And there I was Mahabrahma, the unvanquished victor, all-powerful. And thirty-six times I was Sakka, ruler of the devas, and many hundred times I was a universal monarch, a just and righteous king.

(7:58B; selected)
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41. Seven Kinds of Wives

On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Savatthi in Jeta’s Grove, Anathapindika’s monastery. In the morning the Blessed One dressed, took his bowl and robe, and went to Anathapindika’s house, where he sat down in a seat prepared for him. On that occasion people in the house were making an uproar and a racket. The householder Anathapindika approached the Blessed One, paid homage to him, and sat down to one side. The Blessed One then said to him: “Why are people in your house making this uproar and racket, householder? One would think they were fishermen making a haul of fish.”

“That, Lord, is our daughter-in-law Sujata. She is rich and has been brought here from a rich family. She does not obey her father-in-law and mother-in-law, nor her husband. She does not even honour, respect, esteem and venerate the Blessed One.”

Then the Blessed One called the daughter-in-law Sujata, saying, “Come, Sujata.”

“Yes, Lord,” she replied, and she went to the Blessed One, paid homage to him, and sat down to one side. The Blessed One then said to her: “There are these seven kinds of wives, Sujata. What seven? One like a slayer, one like a thief, one like a tyrant, one like a mother, one like a sister, one like a friend, and one like a handmaid. These are the seven kinds of wives. Now which of these seven are you?”

“I do not understand in detail the meaning of the Blessed One’s brief statement. It would be good, Lord, if the Blessed One would teach me the Dhamma in such a way that I might understand the meaning in detail.”

“Then listen, Sujata, and attend carefully. I will speak.”

“Yes, Lord,” the daughter-in-law Sujata replied. The Blessed One said this:

With hateful mind, cold and heartless,
Lusting for others, despising her husband;
Who seeks to kill the one who bought her—
Such a wife is called a slayer.
When her husband acquires wealth
By his craft or trade or farm work,
She tries to filch a little for herself—
Such a wife is called a thief.
The slothful glutton, bent on idling,
Harsh, fierce, rough in speech,
A woman who bullies her own supporter—
Such a wife is called a tyrant.
One who is always helpful and kind,
Who guards her husband as a mother her son,
Who carefully protects the wealth he earns—
Such a wife is called a mother.
She who holds her husband in high regard
As younger sister holds the elder born,
Who humbly submits to her husband’s will—
Such a wife is called a sister.
One who rejoices at her husband’s sight
As one friend might welcome another,
Well raised, virtuous, devoted –
Such a wife is called a friend.
One without anger, afraid of punishment,
Who bears with her husband free of hate,
Who humbly submits to her husband’s will—
Such a wife is called a handmaid[86]
The types of wives here called a slayer,
A thief, and the wife like a tyrant,
These kinds of wives, with the body’s breakup,
Will be reborn deep in hell.
But wives like mother, sister, friend,
And the wife called a handmaid,
Steady in virtue, long restrained,
With the body’s breakup go to heaven.

“These, Sujata, are the seven kinds of wives. Now which of these are you?”

“Beginning today, Lord, you should consider me a wife who is like a handmaid.”

(7:59)
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42. Mental Development

Monks, although a monk who does not apply himself to the meditative development of his mind [87] may wish, “Oh, that my mind might be freed from the taints by non-clinging!,” yet his mind will not be freed. For what reason? “Because he has not developed his mind,” one has to say. Not developed it in what? In the four foundations of mindfulness, the four right kinds of striving, the four bases of success, the five spiritual faculties, the five spiritual powers, the seven factors of enlightenment and the Noble Eightfold Path. [88]

Suppose, monks, a hen has eight, ten or twelve eggs, but she does not sit on them sufficiently long and they are not well warmed, not developed enough for hatching. Alhough that hen may wish, “Oh, that my chicks might break the egg shells with their claws and beaks and emerge safely!,” yet these chicks will not be able to do so. For what reason? Because the hen did not sit on the eggs sufficiently long, so that they are not well warmed and developed enough for hatching. Similarly is it with a monk who has not applied himself to the meditative development of his mind.

If, however, a monk has applied himself to the meditative development of his mind, even if he should not wish, “Oh, that my mind might be freed from the taints by non-clinging!,” still his mind will be freed. For what reason? “Because he has developed his mind,” one has to say. Developed it in what? In the four foundations of mindfulness, the four right efforts, the four bases of success, the five spiritual faculties, the five spiritual powers, the seven factors of enlightenment and the Noble Eightfold Path.

Suppose, monks, a hen has eight, ten or twelve eggs, and she has sat on them sufficiently long, so that they are well warmed and developed enough for hatching. Even if that hen did not wish, “Oh, that my chickens might break the egg shells with their claws and beaks and emerge safely!,” still the chicks will break through the shells and emerge safely. For what reason? Because the hen sat on the eggs sufficiently long, so that they are well warmed and developed enough for hatching. Similarly is it with a monk who has applied himself to the meditative development of his mind.

Suppose, monks, a carpenter has an axe and its handle shows the marks of his fingers and thumb. He will not know that so much of the handle has worn away today, so much yesterday and so much at other times; but he will just know of what is wasted that it has worn away. It is similar with a monk who applies himself to the meditative development of his mind: though he has no knowledge that so much of the taints has worn away today, so much yesterday and so much at other times, yet he knows of what is wasted that it is worn away.

Or suppose, monks, an ocean-going boat rigged with ropes, having been exposed to the water for six months, has been dragged to the shore for the winter. Then the ropes that had been affected by wind and sun, when soaked by the monsoon rains, will easily go to waste and rot away. It is similar with a monk who applies himself to the meditative development of his mind: his fetters will easily be loosened and rot away.

(7:67)
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43. Life’s Brevity

Long ago, O monks, there lived a religious teacher named Araka, who was free of sensual lust. He had many hundreds of disciples, and this was the doctrine he taught to them:

“Short is the life of human beings, O brahmins, limited and brief; it is full of suffering, full of tribulation. This one should wisely understand. One should do good and live a pure life; for none who is born can escape death.

“Just as a dew drop on the tip of a blade of grass will quickly vanish at sunrise and will not last long; even so, brahmins, is human life like a dew drop. It is short, limited, and brief; it is full of suffering, full of tribulation. This one should wisely understand. One should do good and live a pure life; for none who is born can escape death.

“Just as, when rain falls from the sky in thick drops, a bubble appearing on the water will quickly vanish and will not last long; even so, brahmins, is human life like a water bubble. It is short … for none who is born can escape death.

“Just as a line drawn on water with a stick will quickly vanish and will not last long; even so, brahmins, is human life like a line drawn on water. It is short … for none who is born can escape death.

“Just as a mountain stream, coming from afar, swiftly flowing, carrying along much flotsam, will not stand still for a moment, an instant, a second, but will rush on, swirl and flow forward; even so, brahmins, is human life like a mountain stream. It is short … for none who is born can escape death.

“Just as a strong man might form a lump of spittle at the tip of his tongue and spit it out with ease; even so, brahmins, is human life like a lump of spittle. It is short … for none who is born can escape death.

“Just as a piece of meat thrown into an iron pan heated all day will quickly burn up and will not last long; even so, brahmins, is human life like this piece of meat. It is short … for none who is born can escape death.

“Just as, when a cow to be slaughtered is led to the shambles, whenever she lifts a leg she will be closer to slaughter, closer to death; even so, brahmins, is human life like cattle doomed to slaughter; it is short, limited and brief. It is full of suffering, full of tribulation. This one should wisely understand. One should do good and live a pure life; for none who is born can escape death.”

But at that time, O monks, the human lifespan was 60,000 years, and at 500 years girls were marriageable. In those days people had but six afflictions: cold, heat, hunger, thirst, excrement and urine. Though people lived so long and had so few afflictions, that teacher Araka gave to his disciples such a teaching: “Short is the life of human beings ….”

But nowadays, O monks, one could rightly say, “Short is the life of human beings …”; for today one who lives long lives for a hundred years or a little more. And when living for a hundred years, it is just for three hundred seasons: a hundred winters, a hundred summers, and a hundred rains. When living for three hundred seasons, it is just for twelve hundred months: four hundred winter months, four hundred summer months and four hundred months of the rains. When living for twelve hundred months, it is just for twenty-four hundred fortnights: eight hundred fortnights of winter, eight hundred of summer and eight hundred of the rains.

And when living for twenty-four hundred fortnights, it is just for 36,000 days: 12,000 days of winter, 12,000 of summer and 12,000 of the rains. And when living for 36,000 days, he eats just 72,000 meals: 24,000 meals in winter, 24,000 in summer, and 24,000 in the rains. And this includes the taking of mother’s milk and the times without food. These are the times without food: when agitated or grieved or sick, when observing a fast or when not obtaining anything to eat.

Thus, O monks, I have reckoned the life of a centenarian: the limit of his lifespan, the number of seasons, of years, months, and fortnights, of days and nights, of his meals and foodless times.

Whatever should be done by a compassionate teacher who, out of compassion, seeks the welfare of his disciples, that I have done for you. These are the roots of trees, O monks; these are empty huts. Meditate, monks, do not be negligent, lest you regret it later. This is our instruction to you.

(7:70)
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44. The Master’s Teaching

On one occasion the Venerable UPali approached the Blessed One. [89] Having arrived, he paid homage to the Blessed One, sat down to one side, and said:

“It would be good, Lord, if the Blessed One would teach me the Dhamma in brief, so that having heard the Dhamma from the Blessed One, I might dwell alone, withdrawn, diligent, ardent and resolute.”

“When, UPali, you know of certain things: ’These things do not lead to complete revulsion, to dispassion, cessation, and peace, to direct knowledge, enlightenment, and Nibbana’—of such teachings you may be certain: ’This is not the Dhamma; this is not the Discipline; this is not the Master’s Teaching.’

“But, UPali, when you know of certain things: ’These things lead to complete revulsion, to dispassion, cessation, and peace, to direct knowledge, enlightenment, and Nibbana’—of such things you may be certain: ’This is the Dhamma; this is the Discipline; this is the Master’s Teaching.’“

(7:79)
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The Chapter of the Eights

45. Vicissitudes of Life

“These eight worldly conditions, O monks, keep the world turning around, and the world turns around these eight worldly conditions. What eight? Gain and loss, fame and disrepute, praise and blame, pleasure and pain.

“These eight worldly conditions, monks, are encountered by an uninstructed worldling, and they are also encountered by an instructed noble disciple. What now is the distinction, the disparity, the difference between an instructed noble disciple and an uninstructed worldling?”

“Lord, our knowledge of these things has its roots in the Blessed One; it has the Blessed One as guide and resort. It would be good indeed, Lord, if the meaning of that statement would be explained by the Blessed One. Having heard it from him, the monks will bear it in mind.”

“Listen then, monks, and attend carefully. I shall speak.”

“Yes, Lord,” the monks replied. The Blessed One then spoke thus:

“When an uninstructed worldling, O monks, comes upon gain, he does not reflect on it thus: ’This gain that has come to me is impermanent, bound up with suffering, subject to change.’ He does not know it as it really is. And when he comes upon loss, fame and disrepute, praise and blame, he does not reflect on them thus: ’All these are impermanent, bound up with suffering, subject to change.’ He does not know them as they really are. With such a person, gain and loss … pleasure and pain keep his mind engrossed. When gain comes he is elated and when he meets with loss he is dejected. When fame comes he is elated and when he meets with disrepute he is dejected. When praise comes he is elated and when he meets with blame he is dejected. When he experiences pleasure he is elated and when he experiences pain he is dejected. Being thus involved in likes and dislikes, he will not be freed from birth, ageing and death, from sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair; he will not be freed from suffering, I declare.

“But, O monks, when an instructed noble disciple comes upon gain, he reflects on it thus: ’This gain that has come to me is impermanent, bound up with suffering, subject to change.’ And so he will reflect when loss and so forth come upon him. He understands all these things as they really are, and they do not engross his mind. Thus he will not be elated by gain or dejected by loss; elated by fame or dejected by disrepute; elated by praise or dejected by blame; elated by pleasure or dejected by pain. Having thus given up likes and dislikes, he will be freed from birth, ageing and death, from sorrow, lamentation, from pain, grief, and despair; he will be freed from suffering, I declare.

“This, monks, is the distinction, the disparity, the difference between an instructed noble disciple and an uninstructed worldling.”

Loss and gain, disrepute and fame,
Praise and blame, pleasure and pain —
These things are transient in human life,
Inconstant and bound to change.
The mindful wise one discerns them well,
Observant of their alterations.
Pleasant things do not stir his mind
And those unpleasant do not annoy him.
All likes and dislikes are dispelled by him,
Eliminated and abolished.
Aware now of the stainless, griefless state, [90]
He fully knows, having gone beyond.”

(8:6)
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46. Nanda

When speaking of Nanda, O monks, one may rightly say that he is of good family, that he is strong and handsome and very passionate. [91]

How else could Nanda live the perfect and pure holy life except by guarding the sense doors, by being moderate in eating, by cultivating wakefulness and by setting up mindfulness and clear comprehension?

This, monks, is how Nanda guards his sense doors. If Nanda has to look to the east, he does so only after having considered everything well in his mind: “While I am looking to the east, I will not let covetousness and grief, or other evil, unwholesome states, enter my mind.” Thus he has clear comprehension.

If he has to look to the west, south, or north, he does so only after having considered everything well in his mind: “While I am looking to the west, south, or north, I will not let covetousness and grief, or other evil, unwholesome states, enter my mind.” Thus he has clear comprehension.

This, monks, is Nanda’s moderation in eating. Here, monks, Nanda takes his food wisely reflecting that it is neither for enjoyment, nor for indulgence, nor for physical beauty and attractiveness, but only for the upkeep and sustenance of this body, for avoiding harm to it and for supporting the holy life, thinking: ’Thus I shall put a stop to old feelings (of hunger) and shall not arouse new feelings, and I shall be healthy and blameless and live in comfort.’ This, monks, is Nanda’s moderation in eating.

This, monks, is how Nanda cultivates wakefulness. Here, monks, Nanda purifies his mind from obstructive thoughts during the day while walking back and forth or sitting; and so during the first watch of the night, (likewise) while walking and sitting; during the middle watch he lies down, lion-like, on his right side, placing one foot on the other, keeping in mind the thought of rising; rising in the last watch of the night, he again purifies his mind from obstructive thoughts while walking back and forth and sitting. This is Nanda’s cultivation of wakefulness.

This, monks, is Nanda’s mindfulness and clear comprehension. Here, monks, for Nanda feelings are understood as they arise, as they remain present, as they pass away; perceptions are understood as they arise, as they remain present, as they pass away; thoughts are understood as they arise, as they remain present, as they pass away. This, monks, is Nanda’s mindfulness and clear comprehension.

How else, O monks, could Nanda live the perfect and pure holy life, except by guarding the sense doors, by being moderate in eating, by cultivating wakefulness and by setting up mindfulness and clear comprehension?

(8:9)
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47. Siha the General

One day, Siha the general approached the Blessed One and said to him:

“I have heard it said, venerable sir, that the ascetic Gotama is a teacher of inaction, that he teaches his doctrine for inculcating a life of inaction, and in that he trains his disciples. Do those who say so, venerable sir, truly report the Blessed One’s words without misrepresenting him? Is their assertion in accordance with his doctrine, so that their statement will not give cause for reproach? We certainly do not wish to misrepresent the Blessed One.”

“There is indeed a way, Siha, in which one can rightly say of me that I am a teacher of inaction; and there is also a way in which one can say that I am a teacher of action.

I do teach people to be inactive in regard to evil conduct in deeds, words, and thoughts; I teach inaction in regard to the multitude of evil, unwholesome qualities. But I also teach people to be active by way of good conduct in deeds, words, and thoughts; I teach action in regard to the multitude of wholesome qualities.

There is also a way in which one can rightly say that I am an annihilationist. For I teach the annihilation of greed, hatred, and delusion; I teach the annihilation of the multitude of evil, unwholesome qualities.”

(8:12; extract)
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48. The Simile of the Ocean

On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Verañja, at the foot of Naleru’s nimba tree. [92] There Paharada, a chief of the asuras, approached the Blessed One, and having paid homage to him, he stood to one side. The Blessed One then spoke to Paharada thus:

“I suppose, Paharada, the asuras find delight in the great ocean.”

“They do, Lord.”

“Now, Paharada, how many wonderful and marvellous qualities do the asuras again and again perceive in the great ocean so that they take delight in it?”

“There are, Lord, eight wonderful and marvellous qualities which the asuras again and again perceive in the great ocean by reason of which they take delight in it. These are the eight:

(1) The great ocean, Lord, slopes away gradually, falls gradually, inclines gradually, not in an abrupt way like a precipice. This is the first wonderful and marvellous quality that the asuras perceive in the great ocean by reason of which they take delight in it.

(2) The great ocean is stable and does not overflow its boundaries. This is the second wonderful and marvellous quality….

(3) The great ocean does not tolerate a dead body, a corpse; if there is a dead body in it, the great ocean will quickly carry it to the shore and cast it on to the land. This is the third wonderful and marvellous quality….

(4) When those mighty rivers—the Ganges, the Yamuna, the Aciravati, the Sarabhu and the Mahi—reach the great ocean, they lose their former names and designations and are reckoned just as the great ocean. This is the fourth wonderful and marvellous quality….

(5) Though all the streams of the world flow into the great ocean and rain falls into it from the sky, yet there appears neither a decrease nor an increase in the great ocean. This is the fifth wonderful and marvellous quality….

(6) The great ocean has but one taste, the taste of salt. This is the sixth wonderful and marvellous quality….

(7) In the great ocean, there are many and variegated precious substances: pearls, gems, lapis lazuli, shells, quartz, corals, silver, gold, rubies, and cats-eyes. This is the seventh wonderful and marvellous quality….

(8) The great ocean is the abode of vast creatures: the timi, the timingala, the timirapingala, asuras, nagas, and gandhabbas. [93] There are in the great ocean beings one hundred yojanas long, or two, three, four and five hundred yojanas long. This is the eighth wonderful and marvellous quality that the asuras perceive in the great ocean by reason of which they take delight in it.

“These, Lord, are the eight wonderful and marvellous qualities which the asuras again and again perceive in the great ocean by reason of which they take delight in it. I suppose, Lord, the monks take delight in this Dhamma and Discipline?”

“They do, Paharada.”

“But, Lord, how many wonderful and marvellous qualities do the monks again and again perceive in this Dhamma and Discipline by reason of which they take delight in it?”

“There are, Paharada, eight wonderful and marvellous qualities in this Dhamma and Discipline, which the monks again and again perceive by reason of which they take delight in it. These are the eight:

(1) Just as the great ocean slopes away gradually, falls gradually, inclines gradually, not in an abrupt way like a precipice; even so, Paharada, is this Dhamma and Discipline: there is a gradual training, gradual practice, gradual progress; there is no penetration to final knowledge in an abrupt way. [94] This is the first wonderful and marvellous quality in this Dhamma and Discipline, which the monks perceive by reason of which they take delight in it.

(2) Just as the great ocean is stable and does not overflow its boundaries; even so when I have made known a rule of training to my disciples, they will not transgress it even for life’s sake. [95] This is the second wonderful and marvellous quality in this Dhamma and Discipline….

(3) Just as the great ocean will not tolerate a dead body, a corpse, but quickly carries it to the shore and casts it on to the land; even so the Sangha will not tolerate within its ranks a person who is immoral, of bad character, of impure and suspicious conduct, secretive in his actions, not a true ascetic but rather a sham-ascetic, not chaste but pretending to be chaste, rotten to the core, lustful and of vile behaviour. In such a case, the Sangha quickly assembles and expels such a person. Even if seated in the midst of the monks’ assembly, yet he is far from the Sangha and the Sangha is far from him. This is the third wonderful and marvellous quality in this Dhamma and Discipline….

(4) Just as the mighty rivers on reaching the great ocean lose their former names and designations and are just reckoned as the great ocean; even so, when members of the four castes—nobles, brahmins, commoners and menials—go forth from home into the homeless life in this Dhamma and Discipline proclaimed by the Tathagata, they lose their former names and lineage and are reckoned only as ascetics following the Son of the Sakyans. This is the fourth wonderful and marvellous quality in this Dhamma and Discipline….

(5) Just as in the great ocean neither a decrease nor an increase will appear though all the streams of the world flow into it and rain falls into it from the sky; even so, even if many monks attain final Nibbana in the Nibbana element that is without residue left, there is no decrease or increase in the Nibbana element that is without residue left. [96] This is the fifth wonderful and marvellous quality in this Dhamma and Discipline….

(6) Just as the great ocean has but one taste, the taste of salt; even so this Dhamma and Discipline has but one taste, the taste of liberation. This is the sixth wonderful and marvellous quality in this Dhamma and Discipline….

(7) Just as in the great ocean there are many and variegated precious substances such as pearls, gems, etc.; even so in this Dhamma and Discipline there is much that is precious. These are the precious things in it: the four foundations of mindfulness, the four right efforts, the four bases of success, the five spiritual faculties, the five spiritual powers, the seven factors of enlightenment, the Noble Eightfold Path. [97] This is the seventh wonderful and marvellous quality in this Dhamma and Discipline….

(8) Just as the great ocean is the abode of vast creatures; even so is this Dhamma and Discipline the domain of great beings: the stream-enterer and one practising for the realization of the fruit of stream-entry; the once-returner and one practising for the realization of the fruit of once-returning; the non-returner and one practising for the realization of the fruit of non-returning; the arahat and one practising for arahatship. This is the eighth wonderful and marvellous quality in this Dhamma and Discipline, which the monks perceive again and again by reason of which they take delight in it.

“These, Paharada, are the eight wonderful and marvellous qualities in this Dhamma and Discipline, which the monks perceive again and again by reason of which they take delight in it.”

(8:19)
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49. The Householder Ugga

On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Vesali in the Great Wood in the Hall with the Peaked Roof. There the Blessed One addressed the monks thus:

“Monks, you should know that Ugga the householder has eight wonderful and marvellous qualities.” [98]

Having said this, the Blessed One rose from his seat and entered his dwelling.

Now one of the monks, having dressed in the morning and taken robe and bowl, went to the house of Ugga the householder. Having arrived there, he sat down on the seat prepared for him. And Ugga the householder came and, after saluting the monk, sat down to one side.

When Ugga was seated, the monk said to him: “The Blessed One has declared that eight wonderful and marvellous qualities can be found in you, householder. What are those eight qualities?”

“I do not know, venerable sir, the eight wonderful and marvellous qualities ascribed to me by the Blessed One. But as to those wonderful and marvellous qualities that can be found in me, listen and attend carefully, and I shall tell you.”

“Yes, householder,” replied the monk. Ugga the householder then said:

(1) “When, venerable sir, I first saw the Blessed One at a distance, at the very sight my heart had trust in him. This is the first wonderful and marvellous quality found in me.

(2) “With trusting heart I then waited upon the Blessed One. And the Blessed One gave me a gradual instruction, namely, a talk on giving, on virtue, on the heavens, on the danger, vanity and impurity of sensual pleasures and on the advantages of renunciation. When the Blessed One saw that my mind was prepared, susceptible, free of hindrances, elevated and lucid, he then revealed to me that Dhamma instruction particular to the Buddhas, namely, suffering, its origin, its cessation, and the path. Just as a clean cloth, free of stain, would take the dye perfectly, even so while I was seated at that place, there arose in me the spotless, stainless vision of the Dhamma: ’Whatever is subject to origination is all subject to cessation.’ And having thus seen the Dhamma, attained to the Dhamma, understood the Dhamma, penetrated the Dhamma, having overcome doubt, cast off uncertainty and obtained assurance without depending on others in the Master’s Teaching [99] —on that very occasion I went for refuge to the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha, and I took upon myself the (five) precepts of training with celibacy as the fifth. [100] This is the second wonderful and marvellous quality found in me.

(3) “I had, venerable sir, four young wives, and I went and said to them: ’Sisters, I have taken upon myself the precepts of training with celibacy as the fifth. If you wish you may continue to enjoy even here the wealth (of this place) and do good deeds; or if you wish, you may go back to your own family and relatives; or if you wish to marry another man, tell me to whom I should give you.’ After I had spoken, the eldest wife said: ’Sir, give me to a man of such and such a name.’ Then, venerable sir, I sent for that man, and taking my wife’s hand with my left hand and the waterpot with the right, [101] I handed her over to that man. And while thus giving up my youthful wife I did not know of any change in the composure of my heart. This is the third wonderful and marvellous quality found in me.

(4) “There are, venerable sir, riches in my family, and these I distribute impartially among those who are virtuous and of good character. This is the fourth wonderful and marvellous quality found in me.

(5) “When, venerable sir, I attend upon a monk, I do it respectfully and not with disrespect. This is the fifth wonderful and marvellous quality found in me.

(6) “If, venerable sir, that venerable monk preaches the Dhamma to me, I listen respectfully and not with disrespect. But if he does not preach, then I preach the Dhamma to him. This is the sixth wonderful and marvellous quality found in me.

(7) “It is not unusual, venerable sir, that devas come to me and declare, ’Well proclaimed by the Blessed One is the Dhamma, householder!’ When they speak thus, I reply to those deities: ’Well, whether you deities say so or not, the Dhamma is indeed well proclaimed by the Blessed One.’ But, venerable sir, I am not aware of any proud elation of mind in me because devas visit me or because I converse with them. This is the seventh wonderful and marvellous quality found in me.

(8) “There are, venerable sir, five lower fetters declared by the Blessed One, yet I am not aware of even a single one among these which I have still not abandoned. [102] This is the eighth wonderful and marvellous quality found in me.

“These eight wonderful and marvellous qualities are found in me, venerable sir. I do not know, however, which eight qualities the Blessed One may have ascribed to me.”

Then that monk, after receiving alms at Ugga’s house, rose from his seat and left. Having returned from the alms round, after his meal he went to see the Blessed One and he reported to the Blessed One his conversation with the householder Ugga of Vesali. (The Blessed One then said:)

“Well said, monk, well said! Just as the householder Ugga of Vesali has rightly explained it, even so have I declared him to be endowed with these very same eight wonderful and marvellous qualities. And you may remember him, monk, as thus endowed with these eight qualities.”

(8:21)
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50. The Lay Follower

On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Kapilavatthu, in the Banyan-tree Monastery. There Mahanama the Sakyan approached the Blessed One and, after paying homage to him, sat down at one side. So seated, he addressed the Blessed One and asked:

“How, Lord, is one a lay follower?”

“If, Mahanama, one has gone for refuge to the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Sangha, one is a lay follower.”

“But how, Lord, is a lay follower virtuous?”

“If, Mahanama, a lay follower abstains from the destruction of life, from taking what is not given, from sexual misconduct, from false speech and from wines, liquor and intoxicants which are a basis for negligence, the lay follower is virtuous.”

“And how, Lord, does a lay follower live for his own welfare but not for the welfare of others?”

“If, Mahanama, a lay follower has faith, virtue and generosity himself, but does not encourage others in gaining faith, virtue and generosity; if he himself likes to visit monks and to listen to the good Dhamma, but does not encourage others to do so; if he himself retains in mind the teachings heard and carefully examines the meaning of those teachings, but does not encourage others to do so; if, having understood both the letter and the meaning, he himself lives in conformity with the Dhamma, but does not encourage others to do so—in such a case, Mahanama, a lay follower lives for his own welfare but not for the welfare of others.”

“And how, Lord, does a lay follower live for the welfare of both himself and others?”

“If, Mahanama, a lay follower himself has faith, virtue and generosity, and also encourages others in gaining them; if he himself likes to visit monks and to listen to the good Dhamma, and he also encourages others to do so; if he himself retains in mind the teachings heard and carefully examines their meaning, and he also encourages others to do so; if, having understood both the letter and the meaning, he himself practises in accordance with the Dhamma and also encourages others to do so—in such a case, Mahanama, a lay follower lives for the welfare of both himself and others.”

(8:25)
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51. The Eight Thoughts of a Great Man

On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling among the Bhagga people, near Sumsumaragiri, in the Deer Park of the Bhesakala Grove. At that time the Venerable Anuruddha dwelt among the Cetis in the Eastern Bamboo Grove. [103] While living there alone and secluded, these reflections occurred to him:

“This Dhamma is for one of few wishes, not for one with many wishes. This Dhamma is for the contented, not for the discontented. This Dhamma is for the secluded, not for one who loves company. This Dhamma is for the energetic, not for the indolent. This Dhamma is for one of vigilant mindfulness, not for one of lax mindfulness. This Dhamma is for one with a concentrated mind, not for one who is unconcentrated. This Dhamma is for the wise, not for one without wisdom.”

Now the Blessed One became aware of the Venerable Anuruddha’s reflections and, as speedily as a strong man might stretch his bent arm or bend his stretched arm, he disappeared from the Deer Park at the Bhesakala Grove and appeared before the Venerable Anuruddha in the Eastern Bamboo Grove.

When the Blessed One had sat down on the seat prepared for him, the Venerable Anuruddha paid homage to him and sat down to one side. Then the Blessed One addressed him thus:

“Good, Anuruddha, good! You have reflected well on the seven thoughts of a great man, namely: ’This Dhamma is for one of few wishes … This Dhamma is for the wise, not for one without wisdom.’ But, Anuruddha, you may further reflect on this eighth thought of a great man, namely: ’This Dhamma is for one who delights in the Unworldly, who rejoices in the Unworldly, not for one who delights and rejoices in worldliness.’ [104]

“When reflecting on those eight thoughts of a great man, Anuruddha, you may—while secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unwholesome states—whenever you wish, enter and dwell in the first jhana, which is accompanied by thought and examination, with rapture and happiness born of seclusion.

“With the subsiding of thought and examination, you may, whenever you wish, enter and dwell in the second jhana, which has internal confidence and unification of mind, is without thought and examination, and has rapture and happiness born of concentration.

“With the fading away as well of rapture, you may, whenever you wish, dwell equanimous and, mindful and clearly comprehending, experiencing happiness with the body, you may enter and dwell in the third jhana, of which the noble ones declare: ’He is equanimous, mindful, one who dwells happily.’

“With the abandoning of pleasure and pain, and with the previous passing away of joy and sadness, you may, whenever you wish, enter and dwell in the fourth jhana, which is neither painful nor pleasant and includes the purification of mindfulness by equanimity.

“When you reflect upon those eight thoughts of a great man and attain whenever you wish, without difficulty and trouble, those four jhanas which pertain to the higher mind, pleasant dwellings in this very life—then, Anuruddha, your rag-robe will seem to you as his chest full of coloured garments seems to a householder or his son; and for you who live contentedly, your rag-robe will serve for your joy, for your unperturbed life, for your well-being and as an aid for entering Nibbana.

“Then, Anuruddha, your scraps of alms-food will seem to you as his dish of rice, cleaned of black grains and served with many gravies and curries, seems to a householder or his son; and for you who live contentedly, your alms-food scraps will serve for your joy, for your unperturbed life, for your well-being and as an aid for entering Nibbana.

“Then, Anuruddha, your abode under a tree will seem to you as his gabled mansion, plastered inside and out, draught-free, with bolts fastened and shutters closed, seems to a householder or his son; and for you who live contentedly, your tree-abode will serve for your joy, for your unperturbed life, for your well-being and as an aid for entering Nibbana.

“Then, Anuruddha, your bed and seat made of straw will seem to you as to a householder or his son seems his couch covered with a long-fleeced and black-woollen rug or a bedspread of white wool, a coverlet decorated with flowers, spread over with an exquisite antelope skin, having a canopy overhead and scarlet cushions at both ends; and for you who live contentedly, your straw spread will serve for your joy, for your unperturbed life, for your well-being and as an aid for entering Nibbana.

“Then, Anuruddha, your medicine of fermented cow’s urine [105] will seem to you as to a householder or his son seem his various remedies of butter, ghee, oil, honey and cane sugar; and for you who live contentedly, your medicine of cow’s urine will serve for your joy, for your unperturbed life, for your well-being and as an aid for entering Nibbana.

“Therefore, Anuruddha, you may also spend the coming rainy season here in this Eastern Bamboo Grove among the Cetis.”

“Yes, Lord,” replied the Venerable Anuruddha.

And the Blessed One, having admonished the Venerable Anuruddha with this exhortation, as speedily as a strong man might stretch his bent arm or bend his stretched arm, then disappeared from the Eastern Bamboo Grove and re-appeared at Sumsumaragiri, in the Deer Park of the Bhesakala Grove.

There the Blessed One sat down on a seat prepared for him and addressed the monks as follows:

“I will declare to you, O monks, the eight thoughts of a great man. Listen to them and attend carefully, I shall speak. What are these eight thoughts of a great man?

“This Dhamma is for one of few wishes, not for one with many wishes. This Dhamma is for the contented, not for the discontented. This Dhamma is for the secluded, not for one who loves company. This Dhamma is for the energetic, not for the indolent. This Dhamma is for one of vigilant mindfulness, not for one of lax mindfulness. This Dhamma is for one with a concentrated mind, not for one who is unconcentrated. This Dhamma is for the wise, not for one without wisdom. This Dhamma is for one who delights in the Unworldly, who rejoices in the Unworldly, not for one who delights and rejoices in worldliness.

“But why, monks, was it said: ’This Dhamma is for one of few wishes, not for one with many wishes’? Here, monks, though a monk may be of few wishes, he does not wish to be known as one of few wishes. Though contented, he does not wish to be known as being contented. Though secluded, he does not wish to be known as being secluded. Though energetic, he does not wish to be known as being energetic. Though mindful, he does not wish to be known as being mindful. Though of concentrated mind, he does not wish to be known as one of concentrated mind. Though wise, he does not wish to be known as wise. Though delighting and rejoicing in the Unworldly, he does not wish to be known as one who delights and rejoices in the Unworldly. When it was said, ’This Dhamma is for one of few wishes, not for one with many wishes,’ it is for this reason that this was said.

“And why was it said: ’This Dhamma is for the contented, not for the discontented’? Here, monks, a monk is contented with any kind of robe, alms-food, lodging and medicinal requisites. It is for this reason that this was said.

“And why was it said: ’This Dhamma is for the secluded, not for one who loves company’? Here, monks, while a monk lives secluded visitors come: monks and nuns, male and female lay followers, kings and their ministers, sectarians and their disciples. Then the monk, with his mind bent on seclusion, leaning towards seclusion, inclined towards seclusion, abiding in seclusion and delighting in renunciation, speaks to them only in a way tending to dismiss them. It is for this reason that this was said.

“And why was it said: ’This Dhamma is for the energetic, not for the indolent’? Here, monks, a monk lives with energy set upon the abandoning of everything unwholesome and the acquiring of everything wholesome; he is steadfast and strong in his effort, not shirking his task in regard to wholesome qualities. It is for this reason that this was said.

“And why was it said: ’This Dhamma is for one of vigilant mindfulness, not for one of lax mindfulness’? Here, monks, a monk is mindful, equipped with the keenest mindfulness and circumspection; he remembers well and keeps in mind what has been said and done long ago. It is for this reason that this was said.

“And why was it said: ’This Dhamma is for one with a concentrated mind, not for one unconcentrated’? Here, monks, a monk enters and dwells in the first jhana … the second … the third … the fourth jhana.’ It is for this reason that this was said.

And why was it said: ’This Dhamma is for the wise, not for one without wisdom’? Here, monks, a monk is wise in this way: he is equipped with that wisdom which sees into the rise and fall of phenomena, which is noble and penetrative, leading to the complete destruction of suffering. It is for this reason that this was said.

And why was it said: ’This Dhamma is for one who delights and rejoices in the Unworldly, not for one who delights and rejoices in worldliness’? Here, monks, a monk’s mind urges him on towards the cessation of the world’s diffuseness, he is pleased by it, confirmed in it and liberated. [106] It is for this reason that this was said.”

And in the coming rainy season, too, the Venerable Anuruddha lived among the Cetis in the Eastern Bamboo Grove. And the Venerable Anuruddha, living alone and secluded, diligent, ardent and resolute, soon realized here and now, by his own direct knowledge, that unsurpassed goal of the holy life for the sake of which sons of good family rightly go forth from home to the homeless life, and entering upon it he dwelt therein. And he knew: “Destroyed is birth, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no more for this world.” And the Venerable Anuruddha had become one of the arahats.

At the time of reaching arahatship the Venerable Anuruddha spoke these verses:

“The Master, peerless in this world,
Knew my thoughts and came to me;
With a body made by mind,
He came to me by psychic power.
He taught me more than I knew,
More than my thoughts contained:
The Buddha, cherishing the Unworldly,
Taught me about the Unworldly state.
And having learned his Dhamma thus,
I lived delighted in his teaching.
I have gained the threefold knowledge; [107]
I have done the Master’s bidding.”

(8:30)
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52. Ways of Giving

There are, O monks, eight ways of giving. What eight? One gives spontaneously; or one gives out of fear; or because of thinking, “He too has given me a gift”; or because of thinking, “He will give me a present, too”; or because of thinking that it is good to give; or because of thinking, “I cook, but they (being ascetics) do not; since I cook, it would not be proper for me to refuse giving a meal to those who do not cook”; or because of thinking, “By giving such a gift, I shall earn a good reputation”; or one gives because it ennobles the mind, adorns the mind. [108]

(8:31)
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53. Reasons for Giving

There are, O monks, eight reasons for giving. What eight? People may give out of affection; or in an angry mood; or out of stupidity; or out of fear; or because of thinking: “Such gifts have been given before by my father and grandfather and it was done by them before; hence it would be unworthy of me to give up this old family tradition”; or because of thinking, “By giving this gift, I shall be reborn in a good destination, in a heavenly world, after death”; or because of thinking, “When giving this gift, my heart will be glad, and happiness and joy will arise in me”; or one gives because it ennobles and adorns the mind.

(8:33)
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54. Rebirth on account of Giving

There are, O monks, eight kinds of rebirth on account of giving. What eight?

Here, monks, a certain person makes a gift to an ascetic or a brahmin, offering him food, drink, food, drink, clothing and vehicles; garlands, scents and unguents; bedding, housing and lighting. In making the gift, he hopes for a reward. He now notices affluent nobles, affluent brahmins or affluent householders, enjoying themselves provided and furnished with the five cords of sensual pleasure, and he thinks: “Oh, with the breakup of the body, after death, may I be reborn among them!” And he sets his mind on that thought, keeps to it firmly, and fosters it. This thought of his aims at what is low, and if not developed to what is higher it will lead him to just such a rebirth. [109] With the breakup of the body, after death, he will be reborn among affluent nobles, affluent brahmins or affluent householders. This, however, I declare only for the virtuous, not for the unvirtuous; for it is due to his purity, monks, that the heart’s desire of the virtuous succeeds. [110]

Then again, a certain person makes a gift to a ascetic or a brahmin, offering him food … or lighting. In making the gift, he hopes for a reward. He now hears of the long life, the beauty and the great happiness of devas in the realm of the Four Great Kings … the Tavatimsa devas … the Yama devas … the Tusita devas … the Nimmanarati devas, [111] … the Paranimmitavasavatti devas, [112] and he wishes to be reborn among them. He sets his mind on that thought, keeps to it firmly, and fosters it. This thought of his aims at what is low, and if not developed to what is higher, it will lead him to just such a rebirth. After his death, when his body breaks up, he will be reborn among the devas in the realm of the Four Great Kings … or among the Paranimmitavasavatti devas. This, however, I declare only for the virtuous, not for the unvirtuous; for it is due to his purity, monks, that the heart’s desire of the virtuous succeeds.

Then again, a certain person makes a gift to an ascetic or to a brahmin, offering him food … or lighting. He now hears of the long life, the beauty and the great happiness of the devas of Brahma’s Company, and he wishes to be reborn among them. He sets his mind on that thought, keeps to it firmly, and fosters it. This thought of his aims at what is low, and if not developed to what is higher, it will lead him to just such a rebirth. After his death, when his body breaks up, he will be reborn among the devas of Brahma’s Company. This, however, I declare only for the virtuous, not for the unvirtuous; only for one free of lust, not for one who is lustful. [113] Because he is without lust, monks, the heart’s desire of the virtuous succeeds.

These, monks, are the eight kinds of rebirth on account of giving.

(8:35)
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55. Ways of Meritorious Action

There are, O monks, three ways of making merit. What three? There are ways of making merit by giving, by virtue and by the development of meditation.

There is a person who has practised the making of merit by giving only to a limited degree; and, likewise to a limited degree, he has practised the making of merit by virtue; but the making of merit by meditation he has not undertaken. This one, with the breakup of the body, after death, will be reborn among humans in an unfavourable condition. [114]

Another person has practised to a high degree the making of merit by giving as well as by virtue; but the making of merit by meditation he has not undertaken. Such a one, with the breakup of the body, after death, will be reborn among humans in a favourable condition.

Or he will be reborn in the company of the devas of the Four Great Kings. And there, the Four Great Kings, who had practised to a very high degree the making of merit by giving and by virtue, surpass the devas of their realm in ten respects: in divine lifespan, divine beauty, divine happiness, divine fame, divine power, divine sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touches.

Or he will be reborn in the company of the Tavatimsa devas. And there, Sakka, king of the devas, who had practised to a very high degree the making of merit by giving and by virtue, surpasses the devas of their realm in ten respects: in divine lifespan, divine beauty, divine happiness, divine fame, divine power, divine sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touches.

(The same statements are made for rebirth among the Yama devas, Tusita devas, the Nimmanarati devas, the Paranimmitavasavatti devas, and for the respective rulers of these realms.)

These, monks, are the three ways of making merit.

(8:36)
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56. Streams of Merit

There are, O monks, eight streams of merit, streams of the wholesome, nourishments of happiness, which are heavenly, ripening in happiness, conducive to heaven, and which lead to whatever is wished for, loved and agreeable, to one’s welfare and happiness. [115] What are the eight?

Here, monks, a noble disciple has gone for refuge to the Buddha. This is the first stream of merit, stream of the wholesome, nourishment of happiness, which is heavenly, ripening in happiness, conducive to heaven, and which leads to whatever is wished for, loved and agreeable, to one’s welfare and happiness.

Further, a noble disciple has gone for refuge to the Dhamma … to the Sangha. This is the second stream … the third stream …

There are further, monks, these five gifts—pristine, of long standing, traditional, ancient, unadulterated, and never before adulterated, which are not being adulterated and which will not be adulterated, not despised by wise ascetics and brahmins. What are these five gifts?

Here, monks, a noble disciple gives up the destruction of life and abstains from it. By abstaining from the destruction of life, the noble disciple gives to immeasurable beings freedom from fear, gives to them freedom from hostility, gives to them freedom from oppression. By giving to immeasurable beings freedom from fear, hostility, and oppression, he himself will enjoy immeasurable freedom from fear, hostility, and oppression. This is the first of those great gifts and the fourth flood of merit.

Further, monks, a noble disciple gives up the taking of what is not given and abstains from it. By abstaining from taking what is not given, the noble disciple gives to immeasurable beings freedom from fear … This is the second of those great gifts and the fifth flood of merit.

Further, monks, a noble disciple gives up sexual misconduct and abstains from it. By abstaining from sexual misconduct, the noble disciple gives to immeasurable beings freedom from fear … This is the third of those great gifts and the sixth flood of merit.

Further, monks, a noble disciple gives up false speech and abstains from it. By abstaining from false speech, the noble disciple gives to immeasurable beings freedom from fear … This is the fourth of those great gifts and the seventh flood of merit.

Further, monks, a noble disciple gives up wines, liquors, and intoxicants which are the basis for negligence, and abstains from them. By abstaining from wines, liquors, and intoxicants, the noble disciple gives to immeasurable beings freedom from fear, freedom from hostility, and freedom from oppression. By giving to immeasurable beings freedom from fear, hostility, and oppression, he himself will enjoy immeasurable freedom from fear, freedom from hostility, and freedom from oppression. This is the fifth of those great gifts and the eighth flood of merit.

These, monks, are the eight streams of merit, streams of the wholesome, nourishments of happiness, which are heavenly, ripening in happiness, conducive to heaven, and which lead to whatever is wished for, loved and agreeable, to one’s welfare and happiness.

(8:39)
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57. Mindfulness of Death–I

On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Nadika in the Brick Hall. There he addressed the monks as follows:

“Mindfulness of death, O monks, if developed and cultivated, brings great fruit and benefit; it merges in the Deathless, ends in the Deathless. Therefore, monks, you should develop mindfulness of death.”

After the Blessed One had spoken, a certain monk said:

“Lord, I develop mindfulness of death.”

“And how do you develop it?”

“I think in this way, Lord: ’Oh, were I to live just for one day and a night, I would direct my mind on the Blessed One’s teaching. Much, indeed, could then be done by me!’ Thus, Lord, do I cultivate mindfulness of death.”

(Other monks in that assembly likewise said that they developed mindfulness of death and, being asked how they did so, they answered:)

“I think in this way, Lord: ’Oh, were I to live but for a single day … for half a day … just for the time I need to eat one meal … half a meal … just for the time I need to chew and swallow four or five morsels of food … to chew and swallow one morsel of food … just for the time I breathe in after the out-breath or breathe out after the in-breath, I would direct my mind on the Blessed One’s teaching. Much, indeed, could then be done by me!’ Thus, Lord, do I develop mindfulness of death.”

After the monks had thus spoken, the Blessed One said:

“The monks who said that they develop mindfulness of death with the thought, ’Oh, were I to live just for one day and a night … for the time needed to chew and swallow four or five morsels of food …’—of these monks it must be said that they live indolently and that they develop mindfulness of death in a slack way for the destruction of the taints. [116]

“But, monks, those who develop mindfulness of death with the thought, ’Oh, were I to live for the time I need to chew and swallow one morsel of food; or for the time of breathing in after the out-breath, or breathing out after the in-breath, I would direct my mind on the Blessed One’s teaching. Much, indeed, could then be done by me!’-of these monks it can be said that they live diligently, and that they develop mindfulness of death ardently for the destruction of the taints.

“Therefore, monks, you should train yourselves thus, ’We will dwell diligently and we will develop mindfulness of death ardently for the destruction of the taints!’ Thus indeed, monks, you should train yourselves.”

(8:73)
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58. Mindfulness of Death–II

On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Nadika in the Brick Hall. There he addressed the monks as follows:

“Mindfulness of death, O monks, if developed and cultivated, brings great fruit and benefit; it merges in the Deathless, ends in the Deathless. And how, monks, is mindfulness of death developed in such a way?

“When the day fades and night sets in … or when the night is spent and day breaks, a monk should reflect thus: ’Many things might be the cause of my death: a snake or a scorpion or a centipede may sting me, and on that account I may die. This would be a hindrance to me. [117] Or I may stumble and fall; or the food I ate may cause illness; or bile, phlegm, or piercing winds may upset my health; or humans or non-humans may assault me, and on that account I may die. This would be a hindrance to me.’

“Then that monk should further reflect thus: ’Do I harbour in myself any evil, unwholesome qualities, which are still unabandoned and which would be a hindrance to me if I were to die tonight or during the day?’

“If, on reflection, that monk realizes that those evil, unwholesome qualities still remain within him, then he should, with strong resolve, apply all his effort, vigour and exertion, (together with) mindfulness and clear comprehension, to abandon them.

“Just as a man whose turban or hair is on fire would resolutely apply all his effort, vigour, and exertion, (together with) mindfulness and clear comprehension, to extinguish the fire; even so should that monk resolutely apply all his effort … to abandon those evil, unwholesome qualities.

“But if, on reflection, that monk realizes that no such evil, unwholesome qualities still remain within him, then he may well experience gladness and joy. By day and night he should train himself in everything that is wholesome.

“If, monks, mindfulness of death is developed and cultivated in such a way, it will be of great fruit and benefit; it will merge in the Deathless, end in the Deathless.”

(8:74)
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Notes

  1. Sekhabala. A sekha (a trainee, or a learner) is one who, in pursuing the three kinds of training (sikkha) in virtue, concentration and wisdom, has attained to one of the four supramundane paths or one of the three lower fruits. One who has attained to the fourth fruition, the arahat, is called an asekha, i.e. one beyond training, one perfect in training. [Back]
  2. While shame (hiri) is motivated by self-respect and is inward-looking, moral dread (ottappa) is outward-looking, being the fear of such consequences as blame, bad reputation, and punishment. [Back]
  3. AN 5:12 says: “Of these five powers of one in higher training, this is the highest, this is what holds them together, namely, the power of wisdom.” [Back]
  4. While, in the preceding text, these five qualities have been treated as powers of the trainee, here they are shown in their general capacity for warding off the intrusion of unwholesome states of mind. This conveys the encouraging message that moral qualities of an average level carry in themselves the seed of highest development. In another text (AN 5:4), the possession of these five qualities is said to lead to rebirth in a celestial world, while the lack of them causes rebirth in the lower realms. [Back]
  5. A-a: “The sickle for cutting grass, the pole for carrying it away.” This is given as an example of means of livelihood. [Back]
  6. According to A-a, this refers to a stream-enterer. [Back]
  7. These five powers (bala) are an intensification of the identical five faculties (indriya). As powers they are said to be “unshakeable by their opposites.” [Back]
  8. In this passage the explanation of sati draws upon its original meaning of remembrance, keen memory. The two senses are connected in that mindfulness of the present is the basis for a keen memory. [Back]
  9. Sotapattiyanga. These are the four characteristic qualities of a stream-enterer, namely, unshakeable faith in the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha, and “the virtues dear to the noble ones,” i.e. perfect morality. For a different set of sotapattiyanga, the four factors for attaining stream-entry, see Text 69. [Back]
  10. Sammappadhana.The efforts: (1) to prevent the arising of unarisen evil, unwholesome states; (2) to eliminate arisen evil, unwholesome states; (3) to develop unarisen wholesome states; and (4) to sustain and perfect arisen wholesome states. [Back]
  11. Satipatthana: mindfulness as to body, feelings, states of mind and mind-objects. [Back]
  12. Ariyasacca: the truths of suffering, its origin, its cessation, and the way to its cessation; see Text 29. A-a says that in the characteristic field for each faculty or power, the respective faculty or power is dominant and at the height of its function, while the other four are concomitant and support the dominant function. But the power of wisdom is the highest in rank among the five. [Back]
  13. “Liberation of mind” (cetovimutti) is the concentration present at the attainment of the noble paths and fruitions. “Liberation by wisdom” (paññavimutti) is the wisdom pertaining to the fourth fruition, that of arahatship. [Back]
  14. This fivefold help to right view is, in A-a, compared to the growing of a mango tree: right view is like the mango seed, the other supporting factors are like measures taken to ensure the growth of the tree, and the two liberations are like the fruits. [Back]
  15. A-a: That is, a path of meritorious conduct by practising generosity, virtue and meditation. [Back]
  16. This means that we are responsible for our good and bad actions and heirs to their kammic consequences, whether favourable or unfavourable. [Back]
  17. On the threefold pride, see Text 23. The first three contemplations commended serve to replicate, in the thoughtful disciple, the same awakening to the inescapable realities of the human condition that was thrust upon the future Buddha while he was still dwelling in the palace. [Back]
  18. It is significant that the Buddha ascribes to these seemingly elementary contemplations the power to engender the supramundane path. It seems that to acquire such potency the themes of contemplation must be extended universally so that they disclose the all-pervasive nature of old age, illness and death. Cp. Text 64. On the ten fetters and the seven underlying tendencies, see Ch. I, n.12. and Ch. III, n. 61.

    “The path” (magga) is the first supramundane path, that of stream-entry. To “develop that path”, according to AA, means to practise for the attainment of the three higher paths. [Back]

  19. The formulation of the verse here suggests that it was originally connected with Text 23, as it refers to a period when the Buddha was still a seeker of enlightenment. It may have become detached from that sutta and connected to this one during the period when the texts were transmitted orally. [Back]
  20. Dhammam nirupadhim. In the commentaries the technical term upadhi (“props,” acquisitions) is explained as fourfold: the five aggregates, the defilements, the five cords of sensual pleasure and volitional activities. Here, the “props” are the five aggregates, “the state free from props” Nibbana.

    There are two readings of this last line: nekkhamme datthu khematam (used in this translation) and nekkhammam datthu khemato (“seeing renunciation as security”). [Back]

  21. The “unrepulsive” may refer to persons or things that are either attractive or indifferent. Patis II 212–13 explains tone five modes of perception thus: (1) In the case of an agreeable object, one either permeates it with (the meditative thought of) foulness or views it as impermanent. (2) In the case of a disagreeable object, one either pervades it with loving-kindness or views it as impersonal elements. (3) One permeates both agreeable and disagreeable objects with the thought of foulness and views them as impermanent; thus one perceives both as repulsive. (4) One pervades both disagreeable and agreeable objects with loving-kindness or views them as (impersonal) elements; thus one perceives both as unrepulsive. (5) Having seen a form with his eyes … cognized a mind-object with the mind, one is neither glad nor sad but abides in equanimity, mindful and clearly comprehending; thus one avoids both the repulsive and the unrepulsive aspect. A-a says that this last item is “six-factored equanimity, similar to, though not identical with, that possessed by the arahat.” [Back]
  22. The practice here described is called ariya-iddhi, the “noble magic” or “the power of the noble ones.” It is a kind of subtle “magic of transformation” by which habitual emotional attitudes can be changed at will or replaced by equanimity. In its perfection, this practice “is only produced in noble ones (ariya) who have reached mind-mastery” (Vism XII, 36). But A-a emphasizes that those of lesser attainments as well can and should practise it, if they are experienced in insight meditation and have keen intelligence. Insight meditation is helpful in this respect, as it teaches us to distinguish between the facts of an experience and the emotive (or other) reactions to them. With keen intelligence one can become aware of the possibility of emotive responses other than the habitual ones and of the possibility of withholding any such responses. [Back]
  23. That is, one should speak in a way that leads to successively deeper and more exalted topics, or one should teach the Dhamma in a manner that is suited to the mental dispositions of the listeners. See Text 118. [Back]
  24. A-a: “Moved by the wish: ’I shall set free from their plight those beings who are in great distress.’” [Back]
  25. A-a: “One should speak without extolling oneself and disparaging others.” [Back]
  26. These are the first, second and fourth of the four divine abodes (brahma-vihara). According to A-a, the third abode, altruistic joy, is not mentioned here because it is difficult to practise it towards those against whom one has a grudge. [Back]
  27. A-a explains “trading in living beings” (sattavanijja) as the selling of human beings, i.e. slave trade; this may be too narrow and we should probably include in this category the raising of livestock for slaughter. A-a says that one should neither engage in these trades oneself nor should one encourage others to do so. Abstention from these wrong occupations belongs to the practice of right livelihood, the fifth factor of the Noble Eightfold Path. [Back]
  28. Pasattha-pasattho: lit., “praised by the praised.” A-a: “He is praised by his very own virtues; hence there is no need for their being praised by others.” More likely, the point is that he is praised by those who are themselves praised by others. [Back]
  29. Nissaraniyo dhatuyo; they offer an escape from adverse or obstructive states of mind. [Back]
  30. A-a: “Having risen from jhana produced by contemplating foulness (asubha), he directs his mind towards a sensual object in order to examine it, just as one who has taken an antidote examines the poison.” [Back]
  31. A-a explains “renunciation” here as the first jhana arisen by contemplating bodily foulness. This offers a temporary escape, but if one uses this jhana as a basis for insight meditation and attains the stage of non-returning (anagamiphala), then one escapes completely from sensual desire. [Back]
  32. Byapada. A-a: “Examining it after rising from a jhana produced by contemplating loving-kindness.” [Back]
  33. Abyapada. This negative term is synonymous with loving-kindness (metta). [Back]
  34. Vihesa; cruelty, hurt, hostility, almost synonymous with vihimsa, violence, harm. A-a: “Examining it after rising from a jhana produced by contemplating compassion (karuna).” [Back]
  35. Rupa. A-a: “Examining it after rising from a formless jhana.” On the four formless attainments, see AN 4:190. [Back]
  36. Sakkaya. See Ch. IV, n.11. A-a: “This refers to one who practises bare insight (sukkha-vipassako) and who, after having comprehending the bare formations, has attained to arahatship; after rising from the attainment of fruition (phala-samapatti), he then directs his mind towards the five aggregates for the purpose of examining them.” In the case of “form” and “personality,” the final escape (accanta-nissarana) is the fruition of arahatship (arahatta-phala). [Back]
  37. Niranusayo: one without proclivities (or dormant tendencies) towards those five things (sensuality, etc.). A-a: “This statement is made to praise the arahat as he abides having reached cessation, the escape from personality.” [Back]
  38. Anuttariya-dhamma. This translation is based on a draft translation by Bhikkhu Khantipalo. [Back]
  39. The elephant-treasure, etc.: these terms probably mean the chief elephant, etc., belonging to the king. [Back]
  40. This same description—”for the purification of beings … for the realization of Nibbana”—is used by the Buddha at the opening of the Satipatthana Sutta (DN 22, MN 10) with reference to the practice of the four foundations of mindfulness. [Back]
  41. Cp. Text 20. Here, because the wholesome roots are productive of rebirth, the actions which they motivate should be understood as ordinary wholesome kamma rather than the volition of the noble path, as in Text 20, where the wholesome actions are said to be “cut off at the root.” [Back]
  42. The fourth heaven of the sense-sphere realm. [Back]
  43. A-a takes this to refer to the “knowledge of the inferior and superior condition of the faculties of other persons” (indriyaparopariyañana), one of the special types of knowledge possessed in full measure only by a Buddha. See Text 137. [Back]
  44. Samayikam pi vimuttim. This expression usually signifies the jhanas, but here A-a explains differently: “He does not occasionally experience joy and enthusiasm when listening to the Dhamma from time to time.” [Back]
  45. A-a: “Purana (being a celibate) was superior in virtue and Isidatta was superior in wisdom. Purana’s morality made up for Isidatta’s superior wisdom; and Isidatta’s wisdom made up for Purana’s superior morality.” [Back]
  46. It increases his moral indebtedness through his wrong conduct. [Back]
  47. Dhammayoga. A-a says that the term refers to preachers (dhammakathika), but it probably refers to all those who are keen on studies and cultivate principally the intellectual approach. The term seems to be unique to the present text and the distinction posited between meditators and “those keen on Dhamma” is suggestive of a late origin. [Back]
  48. Jhayanti pajjhayanti nijjhayanti avajjhayanti. These synonyms, formed by prefixes to the verb “to meditate,” cannot be rendered adequately into English. They are meant to indicate belittlement and ridicule. [Back]
  49. If people refuse to give respect or recognition to those with talents, temperaments or pursuits different from those of their own, only mutual displeasure will result. An exclusive emphasis on one-sided development will not lead to progress and true happiness, which can be found only in an ever-renewed attempt at harmonizing what should be complementary, and not antagonistic, in the human mind and in society. [Back]
  50. See Text 26. [Back]
  51. In the original text there follow here sections which differ only in replacing the words greed, hate and delusion by “mental states linked with greed (lobhadhamma),” etc., explained by A-a as “mental states concomitant with it” (tamsampayutta-dhamma). [Back]
  52. These are the three modes of conceit, called the three discriminations (tisso vidha), respectively, superiority conceit, equality conceit, and inferiority conceit (seyyamana, sadisamana, hinamana). See SN 45:162; Vibh 367 (§920). The arahat is free from all such conceits, as well as from their opposites, as the Venerable Sumana’s declaration shows. [Back]
  53. A-a explains “knowledge and vision of things as they really are” (yathabhuta-ñanadassana) as tender insight knowledge; “revulsion” (nibbida) as powerful insight knowledge; “dispassion” (viraga) as the noble path (the four stages of awakening; and “knowledge and vision of liberation” (vimutti-ñana-dassana) as reviewing knowledge. Vimutti (not mentioned separately here) signifies the fruit of arahatship (arahattaphala). [Back]
  54. The khattiya is the warrior caste, which in ancient India represented nobility. [Back]
  55. The word pañña here, usually rendered “wisdom,” also denotes “intelligence” in a more general sense. In the case of the nobles, brahmins, and householders, it may refer to the worldly knowledge relevant to their respective status—in the sense that “knowledge is power”—though in relation to the ascetic “wisdom” would be the suitable rendering. A-a says that a nobleman’s ambition is to be crowned as king or ruling sovereign. [Back]
  56. In the Indian society at that time only male progeny made a wife’s position secure in the family. [Back]
  57. This is Sona Kolivisa, who was declared by the Buddha to be foremost among those vigorous in their energy. His verses appear at Th 632–44. Vv. 638–39 refer to our “simile of the lute”; vv. 640–44 are identical with the verses at the end of this discourse. Our text appears in an expanded form at Vin I 179–85. [Back]
  58. A-a: “Keep to tranquillity combined with energy. Link tranquillity with energy. Keep to a balance of the (five) spiritual faculties. When faith is linked with wisdom and wisdom with faith; when energy is linked with concentration and concentration with energy, then the balance of the faculties is being maintained.” On “there seize your object” (tattha ca nimittam ganhahi), A-a says: “When such balance exists, the object can arise clearly, just like the reflection of the face in a mirror; and you should seize this object, be it of tranquillity, insight, path or fruition.” [Back]
  59. Nibbedhika-pariyaya. A-a takes pariyaya here in the sense of “cause” (karana), that is, the means of penetrating, or piercing through, the defilements: “It is called “penetrative’ because it penetrates through the mass of greed, etc., which had never before been penetrated or cleaved.” [Back]
  60. Kama may refer to “the defilement of sensuality” (kilesakama), i.e. sensual desire; or to “objective sensuality” (vatthukama), i.e. the sensually alluring objects. [Back]
  61. This verse, which plays upon the double meaning of kama, emphasizes that purification is to be achieved by mastering the defilement of sensuality, not by fleeing sensually enticing objects. [Back]
  62. Phassa. A-a: “It is the (sense-) contact arisen simultaneously (with the sensual thought).” “Contact” is the coming together of consciousness and the object via the sense faculty. [Back]
  63. The usual meaning of vipaka, “kamma-result,” does not fit well all items treated in this discourse; hence “outcome” is used to suggest a wider meaning. A-a: “If one who aspires to celestial sensual pleasures and leads a good life is reborn in a celestial world, his personal existence pertains to the meritorious. If, due to evil conduct, he is reborn in a world of misery, it pertains to the demeritorious.” [Back]
  64. Nibbedhikam brahmacariyam. A-a: “The holy life (brahmacariya) signifies here the supramundane path (of stream-entry, etc.).” It should be noted that each section of this discourse is built upon the scaffolding of the Four Noble Truths, with two additional categories: diversity and outcome. [Back]
  65. A-a “’Born of this or that feeling’: born of the feeling that has arisen simultaneously with kammically active consciousness.” [Back]
  66. In MN 9, the taints (including the taint of ignorance) are said to be the cause for ignorance, and ignorance to be the cause for the taints. On how ignorance can be the cause for the “taint of ignorance,” Comy to MN 9 explains: “The ignorance that arises subsequently should be understood as “the taint of ignorance’. The previously arisen ignorance itself becomes a decisive-support condition for the subsequently arisen taint of ignorance.” The same principle explains how the taint of ignorance can be the cause of (simple) ignorance. (See Bhikkhu Ñanamoli, Discourse on Right View, BPS, Wheel Publication377/379, p.67.) [Back]
  67. Cetana ’ham bhikkhave kammam vadami. A-t: “This includes all (kammically) wholesome and unwholesome volition.” Besides volition, there are, of course, also other mental factors arising simultaneously in a kammic thought, but volition is the factor that gives moral or immoral significance to an action. [Back]
  68. See Text 20 and Ch. III, n.13. [Back]
  69. Anagamiphala. The third stage of awakening. See Ch. I, n.12, Ch. IV, n.4. [Back]
  70. Ariyayatane. A-a: In the mid-country (of India). [Back]
  71. The stream-enterer has “set a limit to suffering” by limiting the number of future existences he will have to undergo to a maximum of seven. The “uncommon knowledge” (asadharana-ñana) is the supramundane knowledge with Nibbana as object, which is not shared by the common worldling. The understanding of causes, and of things arisen by causes, are reckoned as two distinct blessings. [Back]
  72. “Conviction that conforms” (i.e. with Dhamma; anuloma-khanti). Patis II 236 quotes our text in full, followed by a set of questions and answers. Patis A-a says on this passage: “The “conformity’ is that of insight knowledge (vipassanañana) with the supramundane path (lokuttara-magga). The conformity refers to an acceptance (or conviction) of just that. To accept and approve that all formations are impermanent, suffering and non-self—this is the conviction (khanti). The “conforming conviction’ is threefold: (1) as slight (muduka), it extends from the (insight knowledge of) comprehension by groups to the knowledge of rise and fall; (2) as medium (majjhima) it extends from contemplation of dissolution up to the knowledge of equanimity about formations; (3) as strong (tikkha) it is the knowledge of conformity with truth (saccanuloma-ñana).” [Back]
  73. The “certainty of rightness” (sammatta-niyama) refers, according to Patis-a, to the supramundane path, and in particular to the path of stream-entry. Therefore, because of the certainty of path-assurance (magga-niyama), it is said of the stream-enterer: “He is assured (of the final end of rebirth), bound to (attain) enlightenment” (niyato sambodhi-parayano). The “rightness” refers to one’s assurance of having the right direction, and to the right, i.e. undistorted, view of reality. The “certainty” (niyama) is that this path will immediately yield its fruition (phala) and will finally result in arahatship.

    The “group of six” in this text (causing inclusion in this Book of the Sixes) is constituted by the conforming conviction, the certainty of rightness, and the four fruitions of stream-entry, etc. [Back]

  74. On the fetters, see Ch. I, n.12. [Back]
  75. On the underlying tendencies, see Ch. I, n.12. [Back]
  76. Note that the perception of non-self is to be extended to all things (dhamma) without qualification, rather than merely to all “formations” or conditioned phenomena (sankhara) like the perceptions of impermanence and suffering. See Ch. I, n.10. [Back]
  77. Mahamoggallana was the second chief disciple of the Buddha; “maha” is an honorific meaning “great.” This sutta is set during his period of striving for arahatship, which he achieved after a week of intense effort immediately after entering the Sangha. According to A-a, he had been walking up and down vigorously in meditation, so when he sat down on his meditation seat drowsiness overcame him. The sutta is included among The Sevens because it enumerates seven ways of dispelling sloth, but it also includes as an eighth item taking a nap when all other methods fail. [Back]
  78. In MN 37 this same question is asked by Sakka, king of the devas, and the Buddha replies in the same way as in the following passage of our text. [Back]
  79. Sabbe dhamma nalam abhinivesaya; lit., “All things are not fit to be clung to.” A-a: “’To be clung to’ by way of craving (tanha) or wrong views (ditthi). ’All things’ are the five aggregates, the twelve sense bases and the eighteen elements (khandha, ayatana, dhatu).” A-t: “These are the domain of insight (vipassana), which is here relevant.” [Back]
  80. “He directly knows everything” (sabbam dhammam abhijanati). A-a: “This refers to the “full understanding of what is known’ (ñatapariñña)”; that is, the knowledge of the object in terms of its characteristic, function, manifestation and conditions.” In the classical Theravada map of the path, “direct knowledge” (abhiñña) corresponds to “the defining of name-and-form” and “the discernment of conditions” (see Vism Chs. XVIII and XIX).

    “He fully understands everything” (sabbam parijanati). A-a: “This refers to ’full understanding through scrutinization’ (tirana-pariñña), the examination of things by way of the three characteristics (impermanence, suffering, non-self).” This corresponds to “knowledge by comprehension in groups”; see Vism Ch. XX. The contemplations of impermanence, etc., are also mentioned in the final tetrad of mindfulness of breathing; see AN 10:60. These four also belong to a group of seven contemplations which become prominent in the exegetical literature (see Vism XX,4; XXI,14–18). The additional three, not mentioned here, are the contemplations of suffering, non-self and revulsion. [Back]

  81. A-a: “This discourse served Moggallana as practical advice (for overcoming drowsiness) as well as an instruction on insight. After he had, by following this very discourse, strengthened insight within himself, he attained arahatship.” This occurred one week after his ordination. [Back]
  82. In Ee, through an editorial oversight, this sutta is treated as a continuation of the preceding one. In Be and A-a it is correctly printed as a separate sutta. [Back]
  83. “Do not be afraid of deeds of merit!” A-t: “As to those meritorious deeds which monks should constantly perform, namely restraint of body and speech, attention to the monastic duties, sense restraint, mind-control through the ascetic practices, the practice of meditation, the rousing of energy—having practised these for a long time, the monks should not be afraid of them through fear that they will hinder their present, immediate happiness. These meritorious deeds will bring them the future happiness of Nibbana; hence they should not be afraid of meritorious deeds.” [Back]
  84. He had developed jhanas with loving-kindness as his meditation subject and thus he did not return “to this world,” to the sense-sphere world (kamaloka). An aeon (kappa) is divided into two main phases, a phase of cosmic expansion and a phase of contraction. For seven such aeons he had dwelt in the lofty form realm. An aeon (kappa) is said to endure longer that the time it would take for a man to wear away a mountain of solid granite, six miles high and six miles in circumference, by stroking it once a century with a cloth of fine muslin (SN 15:5). [Back]
  85. Subhakinha deva. These are the denizens of the highest plane corresponding to the third jhana. Though the sutta states that their lifespan is four aeons, to bring the figures into accord with the later Theravada tradition AA explains a method by which the three lifespans actually amount to sixteen, thirty-two and sixty-four aeons. During the period of world-contraction all the realms below the devas of Streaming Radiance are destroyed and beings are generally reborn in this realm (see Text 139). When the world starts to re-emerge, the Brahma-world appears first, and the first being to be reborn there is Mahabrahma, the overlord of the world system. The Tavatimsa heaven, of which Sakka is the chief, is the second heaven of the sense-sphere realm, and thus Sakka is far lower in cosmic stature than Mahabrahma. [Back]
  86. Dasi is, literally, a female slave. Fortunately in Buddhist cultures the preceding three models of wifeship have prevailed, and we might understand the praise of the “slavelike” wife here to serve merely a rhetorical purpose. [Back]
  87. The term “bhavana” (lit.: making become), usually translated “meditation,” is not restricted to methodical exercises in mental concentration but comprises the entire field of mental training. [Back]
  88. These seven sets make up the thirty-seven aids to enlightenment (bodhipakkhiya dhamma). The four foundations of mindfulness (satipatthana) are: mindful contemplation of the body, feelings, mind states and mental phenomena (see SN Ch. 47). The four right kinds of striving (sammappadhana) are enumerated in Ch. V, n.10 (SN Ch. 49). The four bases of success (iddhipada) are four factors—desire, energy, mind and investigation—employed in conjunction with volitional effort as vehicles for mastering concentration (SN Ch. 51). The five faculties (indriya) are the faculties of faith, energy, mindfulness, concentration, and wisdom (SN Ch. 48). The five powers (bala) are identical with the faculties, but viewed as forces overcoming opposition rather than as agents of control (SN Ch. 50). The seven factors of enlightenment (bojjhanga) are mindfulness, investigation of phenomena, energy, rapture, serenity, concentration, and equanimity (SN Ch. 46). The Noble Eightfold Path consists of the eight kinds of rightness, enumerated in Texts 29 and 99. [Back]
  89. UPali was the chief specialist in the Vinaya or monastic discipline in the Sangha. [Back]
  90. This is Nibbana. [Back]
  91. Nanda was the Buddha’s half-brother, a son of his father Suddhodana and step-mother Mahapajapati Gotami. On the day of his wedding the Buddha led him to the monastery and had him ordained as a monk, but his mind was divided between his monastic calling and thoughts of his beautiful fiancée. Using his psychic powers, the Buddha took him to the Tavatimsa heaven and showed him celestial nymphs of unsurpassed beauty, promising that he could win them by leading a good monk’s life. Nanda went back to the Jetavana monastery more willing to continue his life as a monk. But when the other monks chided him for his low aim, he felt ashamed and, to vindicate himself, finally reached arahatship. Later the Buddha designated him the foremost disciple in guarding the sense faculties. See Ud 3.2, and A-a to Dhp 13, 14 (Burlingame, Buddhist Legends, 1:217ff.). It is difficult to see exactly why this sutta was included among The Eights; perhaps the eight items are the four initial descriptions of Nanda in the opening paragraph, and the four aspects of Nanda’s self-discipline. [Back]
  92. The eightfold simile of the ocean is found, in a different setting, at Ud 5.5 [0]and Vin II 235–40. Naleru-Pucimanda: Vin Comy says that near that tree there was a shrine dedicated to the yakkha (demon) Naleru. The asura are titanic beings said to dwell in a region of the Tavatimsa heaven; they are in constant conflict with the devas (See SN 11:1–6; 35:207). They also take delight in the ocean; see AN 8:19. The asuras had three chiefs, Vepacitti, Rahu (AN 4:50) and Paharada. Rahu is an asura king dwelling in the sky who periodically abducts the moon and the sun (see SN 2:9, 10). The myth represents the ancient Indian interpretation of the solar and lunar eclipse. A-a explains that for eleven years after the Buddha’s enlightenment Paharada had delayed visiting the Blessed One. When, in the twelfth year, he finally came, he felt too shy to address the Buddha first, so the Buddha asked him a question about the ocean as a way to “break the ice.” [Back]
  93. The first three are mythical fishes of huge size. According to Ud Comy, the second can swallow the first and the third can swallow the other two. Nagas are sea-serpents or dragons, dwelling beneath the ground and in the ocean, guardians of hidden treasure. Gandhabbas are another kind of demi-god, sometimes depicted as celestial musicians, but also said to inhabit trees and flowers. The yojana is a unit of length, approximately six miles. [Back]
  94. Añña: the knowledge of arahatship. A-a: “There is no breakthrough to final knowledge like the hop of a frog. Without having practised from the very beginning, i.e. the fulfilment of virtue, etc., there is no attainment of arahatship. Only by practising virtue, concentration and wisdom in due order can one attain arahatship.” [Back]
  95. According to A-t, this refers to the noble disciples (ariya-savaka), i.e. the stream-enterer, etc. For them, the moral rules become unbreakable. [Back]
  96. A-a: “Even if not a single being attains Nibbana during the immeasurable aeons when no Buddhas appear, it cannot be said that Nibbana is empty. And on the other hand, if, in the lifetime of a Buddha, during one single meeting (of instruction), innumerable beings attain to the Deathless, one cannot say that Nibbana becomes full.” [Back]
  97. See Ch. VII, n.12. [Back]
  98. Ugga of Vesali was declared by the Buddha the foremost lay disciple of those who make an offering to the Sangha of what they cherish most. See AN 5:44. [Back]
  99. This stock passage usually indicates the attainment of stream-entry, though in Ugga’s case it signifies the attainment of the stage of non-returner, as we shall see. [Back]
  100. Brahmacariya-pañcamani sikkhapadani. In the usual enumeration of the precepts, the third precept is abstinence from sexual misconduct. Ugga took upon himself the rule of celibacy, as he had become a non-returner and eliminated sensual desire. [Back]
  101. According to ancient Indian marriage ritual, water is poured over the hands of the couple by the bride’s father or guardian. [Back]
  102. See Ch. I, n.12. This is an indirect way of indicating that he is a non-returner (anagami). [Back]
  103. Anuruddha was a prominent prince of the Sakyan clan, Mahanama’s brother and the Buddha’s cousin. He was later appointed the foremost disciple in the exercise of the divine eye. [Back]
  104. “The Unworldly” = nippapañca; “worldliness” = papañca. Papañca “signifies the expansion, differentiation, diffuseness or manifoldness of the world; and it may also refer to the “phenomenal world’ in general and the mental attitude of “worldliness’” (Nyanatiloka Thera, Buddhist Dictionary, s.v. papañca). It is in the last-mentioned two senses that this term and its opposite, nippapañca, have been rendered here and in the concluding verses of this text.

    In his important book Concept and Reality, Bhikkhu Ñanananda adds to the above-mentioned connotations the meaning “conceptual proliferation,” which provides the key for understanding the term when it occurs in a psychological context, as it often does in the Suttas. However, it seems improbable that this meaning applies to our present text. [Back]

  105. In ancient India fermented cow’s urine (putimutta) was regarded as a remedy of great curative and invigorating efficacy. For such use, a vessel with cow’s urine and myrobalan fruits is kept buried in the ground for some length of time. [Back]
  106. The “cessation of the world’s diffuseness” (papañca-nirodha) is Nibbana. [Back]
  107. Tisso vijja. The recollection of former births, the knowledge of the passing away and rebirth of beings, and the knowledge of the destruction of the taints. [Back]
  108. Some of the “ways of giving” mentioned in this and the following text refer specifically to the gift of a meal to monks, but not exclusively so. On the subject of giving, see too AN 3:57, AN 4:57, AN 5:31, AN 5:148, and the following two texts. [Back]
  109. A-a “’Aims at what is low’: at the low (level of the) five sense objects. ’To what is higher’: his mind has not been developed beyond that, i.e. towards the holy paths and fruits (of stream-entry, etc.).” [Back]
  110. A-t: “This is meant to indicate that immorality would create an impediment, and that it is not solely the meritorious act consisting of giving that leads to such a favourable rebirth.” [Back]
  111. Lit. “devas who delight in creating.” [Back]
  112. Lit. “devas who wield control over the creations of others.” [Back]
  113. Free of lust (vitaragassa). A-a: “That is, one who is free of lust (A-t: sensual lust) either by having eradicated it by the path of non-returning; or by having repressed it by a meditative attainment (of jhana). For one cannot be reborn in a Brahma-world solely by giving. Giving, however, is an ennobling and supportive factor in a state of mind directed to tranquillity and insight. If one practises the brahma-vihara (divine abidings) with a mind that has become gentle by giving, one will be reborn in the Brahma-world.” [Back]
  114. A-a: “He will be reborn in a family of low status and will be unsuccessful in life.” [Back]
  115. Cp. AN 4:52. Here, however, the “streams of merit” are said to arise for the ordinary lay followers, who go for refuge and observe the Five Precepts, while there they are stated for the noble disciples, who have “unwavering confidence” in the Three Jewels and “the virtues dear to the noble ones.” [Back]
  116. The point is that death may come so suddenly and unexpectedly that it is a sign of complacency to assume one may live long enough even to swallow four or five morsels of food. [Back]
  117. A-a: “When dying as an unliberated wordling, it would be a hindrance either to a heavenly rebirth or to attaining the paths of emancipation.” [Back]