Anguttara Nikaya


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Aŋguttara-Nikāya
II. Dukanipāta

I. I. Kammakāraṇa Vagga
Appativana Sutta

Sutta 5

Relentlessly

Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
Provenance, terms and conditons

 


 

[5][pts] "Monks, I have known two qualities through experience:
discontent with regard to skillful qualities[1]
and unrelenting exertion.

Relentlessly I exerted myself, [thinking,]
'Gladly would I let the flesh and blood in my body dry up,
leaving just the skin, tendons, and bones,
but if I have not attained
what can be reached
through human firmness,
human persistence,
human striving,
there will be no relaxing my persistence.'

From this heedfulness of mine
was attained Awakening.
From this heedfulness of mine
was attained the unexcelled freedom from bondage.

"You, too, monks, should relentlessly exert yourselves, [thinking,]
'Gladly would we let the flesh and blood in our bodies dry up,
leaving just the skin, tendons, and bones,
but if we have not attained
what can be reached
through human firmness,
human persistence,
human striving,
there will be no relaxing our persistence.'

You, too, in no long time
will reach and remain in the supreme goal of the holy life
for which clansmen rightly go forth from home into homelessness,
knowing and realizing it for yourselves
in the here and now.

"Thus you should train yourselves:
'We will relentlessly exert ourselves, [thinking,]
"Gladly would we let the flesh and blood in our bodies dry up,
leaving just the skin, tendons, and bones,
but if we have not attained
what can be reached
through human firmness,
human persistence,
human striving,
there will be no relaxing our persistence."'

That's how you should train yourselves."

 


[1] In other words, not allowing oneself to rest content merely with the skillful qualities developed on the path. In the Buddha's biography, this point is illustrated by his refusal to rest content with the formless absorptions he mastered under his first two teachers. See MN 36.

 


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