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Samyutta Nikaya
IV. Salayatana Vagga
35: Salayatana Samyutta
Pannasa Catuttham
4. Asivisa Vagga

The Book of the Kindred Sayings
IV. Kindred Sayings on the 'Six-Fold Sphere' of Sense and Other Subjects
35: Kindred Sayings the Sixfold Sphere of Sense The 'Fourth Fifty' Suttas
4. The Chapter on the Snake

Sutta 203

Dukkha-Dhamma Suttam

States of Ill

Translated by F. L. Woodward
Edited by Mrs. Rhys Davids

Copyright The Pali Text Society
Commercial Rights Reserved
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[188] [121]

[1][bodh] Thus have I heard:

The Exalted One was once addressed the brethren, saying:

"Brethren."

"Lord," responded those brethren to the Exalted One.

The Exalted One thus spake:

"Brethren, when a brother knows,
as they really are,
the arising
and the destruction
of all states of ill,
then indeed sensual pleasures are seen by him.

When he sees sensual pleasures,
that desire for sensual pleasures,
that love of sensual pleasures,
that infatuation,[1]
that feverish longing[2]
for sensual pleasures,
which is therein,
does not fasten on him.|| ||

His path abroad
and his lodging at home
are so practised[3] that,
in such a way of life,
coveting and dejection,
those evil,
unprofitable states,
do not fasten on him.

 


 

And how, Brethren, does a brother know,
as they really are,
both the arising
and the destruction
of all states of ill?

He knows

'Such is body,
such the arising of body,
such is the destruction of body;

Such is feeling,
such the arising of feeling,
such is the destruction of feeling;

Such is perception,
such the arising of perception,
such is the destruction of perception;

Such are the activities,
such the arising of the activities,
such is the destruction of the activities;

Such is consciousness,
such the arising of the consciousness,
such is the destruction of the consciousness.

That, Brethren, is how he knows,
as they really are,
both the arising
and the destruction
of all states of ill.

 


 

And how, Brethren, are sensual pleasures
seen by a brother,
in such a way that,
so seeing sensual pleasures,
that love of sensual pleasures
that is therein
does not fasten on him?

Suppose, Brethren, there were a pit of charcoal,[4]
deeper than a man's height,
full of charcoal,
without flame[5]
and smokeless.

And suppose a man should come,
fond of life,
not loving death,
but loathing pain.

Then two strong men lay hold of him,
one by each arm,
and drag him to the pit of charcoal.

He would writhe his body to and fro.

Why so?

[122] That man, Brethren, would know:

'I shall fall into this pit of charcoal.

Owing to that I shall come by death or mortal pain.'

Even so, Brethren, a brother sees sensual pleasures
in the likeness of a pit of charcoal,
and, so seeing,
that love of sensual pleasures,
that infatuation,
that feverish longing
for sensual pleasures
that is therein
does not fasten on him.

 


 

And how, Brethren, does a brother
so practise his path abroad
and his lodging at home
that, so practising,
so dwelling,
covetousness and dejection,
those evil, unprofitable states,
do not fasten on him?

Suppose, Brethren, a man should enter
a forest full of thorns.

To the east of him are thorns.

To the west of him are thorns.

To the north of him are thorns.

To the south of him are thorns.

Below him are thorns.

Above him are thorns.

Wherever he advances or retreats,
he has the thought:

'May no thorns pierce me.'

Just so, Brethren, whatsoever object in the world
is dear and delightful, -
that in the Ariyan discipline
is called 'the thorn.'

By so understanding,
restraint and non-restraint
are to be understood.

And how, Brethren, comes non-restraint?

Herein, Brethren, a brother,
seeing an object with the eye,
is attached to objects that are dear,
is averse from objects that displease.

He dwells with attention to body distracted,
and his thought is mean.

He knows not that emancipation of heart,
that emancipation of wisdom,
as they really are,
whereby those evil,
unprofitable states
that have arisen
come to cease.

Herein, Brethren, a brother,
hearing a sound with the ear,
is attached to sounds that charm,
is averse from sounds that displease.

He dwells with attention to body distracted,
and his thought is mean.

He knows not that emancipation of heart,
that emancipation of wisdom,
as they really are,
whereby those evil,
unprofitable states
that have arisen
come to cease.

Herein, Brethren, a brother,
smelling a scent with the nose,
is attached to scents that charm,
is averse from scents that displease.

He dwells with attention to body distracted,
and his thought is mean.

He knows not that emancipation of heart,
that emancipation of wisdom,
as they really are,
whereby those evil,
unprofitable states
that have arisen
come to cease.

Herein, Brethren, a brother,
tasting a savour with the tongue,
is attached to savours that charm,
is averse from savours that displease.

He dwells with attention to body distracted,
and his thought is mean.

He knows not that emancipation of heart,
that emancipation of wisdom,
as they really are,
whereby those evil,
unprofitable states
that have arisen
come to cease.

Herein, Brethren, a brother,
contacting a tangible with the body,
is attached to tangibles that charm,
is averse from tangibles that displease.

He dwells with attention to body distracted,
and his thought is mean.

He knows not that emancipation of heart,
that emancipation of wisdom,
as they really are,
whereby those evil,
unprofitable states
that have arisen
come to cease.

Herein, Brethren, a brother,
cognizing a mind-state with the mind,
is attached to mind-states that charm,
is averse from mind-states that displease.

He dwells with attention to body distracted,
and his thought is mean.

He knows not that emancipation of heart,
that emancipation of wisdom,
as they really are,
whereby those evil,
unprofitable states
that have arisen
come to cease.

And how, Brethren, comes restraint?

Herein, Brethren, a brother,
seeing an object with the eye,
is not attached to objects that are dear,
is not averse from objects that displease.

He dwells with attention fixed on body,
and his thought is boundless.

He knows that emancipation of heart,
that emancipation of wisdom,
as they really are,
whereby those evil,
unprofitable states
that have arisen
come to cease.

Herein, Brethren, a brother,
hearing a sound with the ear,
is not attached to sounds that charm,
is not averse from sounds that displease.

He dwells with attention fixed on body,
and his thought is boundless.

He knows that emancipation of heart,
that emancipation of wisdom,
as they really are,
whereby those evil,
unprofitable states
that have arisen
come to cease.

Herein, Brethren, a brother,
smelling a scent with the nose,
is not attached to scents that charm,
is not averse from scents that displease.

He dwells with attention fixed on body,
and his thought is boundless.

He knows that emancipation of heart,
that emancipation of wisdom,
as they really are,
whereby those evil,
unprofitable states
that have arisen
come to cease.

Herein, Brethren, a brother,
tasting a savour with the tongue,
is not attached to savours that charm,
is not averse from savours that displease.

He dwells with attention fixed on body,
and his thought is boundless.

He knows that emancipation of heart,
that emancipation of wisdom,
as they really are,
whereby those evil,
unprofitable states
that have arisen
come to cease.

Herein, Brethren, a brother,
contacting a tangible with the body,
is not attached to tangibles that charm,
is not averse from tangibles that displease.

He dwells with attention fixed on body,
and his thought is boundless.

He knows that emancipation of heart,
that emancipation of wisdom,
as they really are,
whereby those evil,
unprofitable states
that have arisen
come to cease.

Herein, Brethren, a brother,
cognizing a mind-state with the mind,
is not attached to mind-states that charm,
is not averse from mind-states that displease.

He dwells with attention fixed on body,
and his thought is boundless.

He knows that [123] emancipation of heart,
that emancipation of wisdom,
as they really are,
whereby those evil,
unprofitable states
that have arisen
come to cease.

Even so, Brethren, comes restraint.

In that brother, Brethren, so practising,
so dwelling,
sometimes
and full seldom,
through loss of self-control,[6]
there do arise evil,
unprofitable states,
memories and hopes[7]
that are akin to the fetters that bind.

Weak, Brethren, is the arising of his mindfulness,[8]
but quickly he abandons (such a state),
puts it away,
wipes it out,
makes it go to utter destruction.

Just as if, Brethren,
a man should let fall two
or three
drops of water
into an iron pot,
heated all day long,[9] -
that mere trickle of water-drops
is soon wiped out,
soon used up, brethren.

Even so in that brother,
so dwelling,
sometimes
and full seldom,
through loss of self-control,
there do arise evil,
unprofitable states,
memories and hopes
that are akin to the fetters that bind.

The arising of mindfulness in him is weak,
but quickly he abandons it,
puts it away,
wipes it out,
makes it go to utter destruction.

Thus if a brother practise his path abroad
and his lodging at home
in such a way of life,
that coveting and dejection,
those evil, unprofitable states,
do not overwhelm him.[10]

Suppose the rajah's royal ministers
or friends
or boon companions
or kinsmen
or blood-relations
should bring and offer[11] wealth
to a brother so practising and living,
and say:

'Come, good man!

Why should these yellow robes torment you?

Why do you parade about
with shaven crown and bowl?

Come! Return to the lower life,
enjoy possessions
and do deeds of merit.'

But, Brethren, for that brother so practising,
so living,
to reject the training
and return to the lower life
is an impossible thing.

[124] Suppose, Brethren, the river Ganges,
that slopes,
inclines
and leads towards the east,
and a great crowd of folk should come,
armed with pick and basket saying:

'We will make this river Ganges
slope,
incline
and lead towards the west,' -

what think ye, brethren?

Would that great crowd of folk
make the river Ganges
so slope,
incline
and lead towards the west?"

"Surely not, lord."

"And why not?"

"Because, lord, as the river Ganges
slopes,
inclines
and leads towards the east,
it were no easy thing to make it
slope,
incline
and lead towards the west,
insomuch that fatigue and vexation
would be the lot
of all that great crowd of folk."

"Just so, Brethren,
if the rajah's royal ministers
or friends
or boon companions
or kinsmen
or blood-relations
should come to that brother,
so practising,
so dwelling,
and offer him wealth, saying:

'Come, good man!

Why should these yellow robes torment you?

Why do you parade about with shaven crown and bowl?

Come! Return to the lower life.

Enjoy possessions
and do deeds of merit,' -

for that brother to return to the lower life
is impossible.

Why?

Because, Brethren, as that brother's heart
has for many a long day
been bent on detachment,
inclined to detachment,
turned towards detachment,
there is no possibility
for him to return to the lower life.'

 


[1] Muccha, 'swooning or fainting for.'

[2] Parilaha.

[3] Text anubuddha? but v.l. anubandha (Burmese MS.). Comy. probably had the reading anubaddha, 'followed' (acc. to which. I translate). B. says yen'akarena aranna-viharan anubandhitva.

[4] Cf. M. i, 74; K.S. ii, 69.

[5] Vitacchika of text should be vitaccika (vita-accika).

[6] Sati-sammosa {cf. DA. i, 113. Sati pamussati. Comy.).

[7] Sara-sankappa. Supra, I 96; M., vol. i, 453.

[8] At the third attempt he succeeds for certain.' Comy. Cf. A. ii, 186.

[9] Divasa-santatta. Cf. M. i, 453 (for the simile); S. i, 169.

[10] Here text has the usual nanussavanti for nanusati of the previous passage.

[11] Abhihatthun pavareyyun. Comy. suggests as an example ratanani abhiharitva pavareyyun, adding 'as in the case of the elder Sudinna and the clansman Ratthapala.' Cf. Vin. iii, 11; M. ii, 54; AA. on. A. i, 24.


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