Anguttara Nikaya


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Aŋguttara-Nikāya
II. Dukanipāta

Samacitta Vagga

Sutta 35

Minds in Tune

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

 


 

[35.1][pts] I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī in Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery.

And on that occasion Ven. Sāriputta was staying near Sāvatthī in the Eastern Monastery, the palace of Migāra's mother.

There Ven. Sāriputta said to the monks, "Friend monks!"

"Yes, friend," the monks responded to him.

Ven. Sāriputta said, "Friends, I will teach you about the individual interiorly fettered and the one exteriorly fettered.

Listen & pay close attention.

I will speak."

"As you say, friend," the monks responded to him.

Ven. Sāriputta said, "And which, friends, is the individual interiorly fettered?

There is the case where a monk is virtuous.

He dwells restrained in accordance with the Pāṭimokkha, consummate in his behavior & sphere of activity.

He trains himself, having undertaken the training rules, seeing danger in the slightest fault.

On the break-up of the body, after death, he reappears in a certain deva-host.

On falling from there, he is a returner, one who returns to this state.[1]

This is called an individual interiorly fettered, a returner, one who returns to this state.

"And which, friends, is the individual exteriorly fettered?

There is the case where a monk is virtuous.

He dwells restrained in accordance with the Pāṭimokkha, consummate in his behavior & sphere of activity.

He trains himself, having undertaken the training rules, seeing danger in the slightest fault.

He enters & remains in a certain awareness-release.[2]

On the break-up of the body, after death, he reappears in a certain deva-host.

On falling from there, he is a non-returner, one who does not return to this state.[3]

This is called an individual exteriorly fettered, a non-returner, one who does not return to this state.

"Further, there is the case where a monk is virtuous.

He dwells restrained in accordance with the Pāṭimokkha, consummate in his behavior & sphere of activity.

He trains himself, having undertaken the training rules, seeing danger in the slightest fault.

He is one who practices for disenchantment toward, dispassion for, and the cessation of sensuality.

He is one who practices for disenchantment toward, dispassion for, and the cessation of becomings.

He is one who practices for the ending of craving.

He is one who practices for the ending of greed.

On the break-up of the body, after death, he reappears in a certain deva-host.

On falling from there, he is a non-returner, one who does not return to this state.

This is called an individual exteriorly fettered, a non-returner, one who does not return to this state."

Then many devas with their minds in tune [samacitta] went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, bowed down to him and stood to one side.

As they were standing there, they said to the Blessed One, "Lord, Ven. Sāriputta is teaching the monks in the Eastern Monastery, the palace of Migāra's mother, about the individual interiorly fettered and the one exteriorly fettered.

The assembly is overjoyed.

It would be good, lord, if the Blessed One went to Ven. Sāriputta out of kindness."[4]

The Blessed One acquiesced through silence.

Then — just as a strong man might extend his flexed arm or flex his extended arm — he disappeared from Jeta's Grove and re-appeared in the Eastern Monastery, the palace of Migāra's mother, right in front of Ven. Sāriputta.

He sat down on a seat laid out.

Ven. Sāriputta, bowing down to the Blessed One, sat to one side.

As he was sitting there, the Blessed One said to him, "Just now, Sāriputta, many devas with their minds in tune went to me and, on arrival, bowed down to me and stood to one side.

As they were standing there, they said to me, 'Lord, Ven. Sāriputta is teaching the monks in the Eastern Monastery, the palace of Migāra's mother, about the individual interiorly fettered and the one exteriorly fettered.

The assembly is overjoyed.

It would be good, lord, if the Blessed One went to Ven. Sāriputta out of kindness.'

"Those devas — whether they are ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, or sixty — can stand on an area the size of the tip of an awl and yet not disturb one another.

If the thought should occur to you that 'Those devas must have developed their minds there (in their heaven) so that — whether they are ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, or sixty — they can stand on an area the size of the tip of an awl and yet not disturb one another,' it shouldn't be seen in that way.

It was right here[5] that those devas developed their minds so that — whether they are ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, or sixty — they can stand on an area the size of the tip of an awl and yet not disturb one another.

"Thus, Sāriputta, you should train yourselves:

'We will be peaceful in our (sense) faculties, peaceful in our minds.'

That's how you should train yourselves.

When you are peaceful in your faculties, peaceful in your minds, [think,] 'Bodily action will be peaceful, verbal action will be peaceful, mental action will be peaceful, & we will render peaceful service to our fellows in the holy life':

That's how you should train yourselves.

"Sāriputta, those members of other sects who don't get to hear this Dhamma discourse are lost."

 


[1] This state = the human realm. According to the Commentary, "interior" here means sensual levels of becoming; "exterior" means form and formless levels of becoming. Alternatively, it says that "interior" denotes the five lower fetters, whereas "exterior" denotes the five higher fetters. It illustrates the idea that a person interiorly fettered can sojourn in the higher levels of becoming before returning to this state with an analogy: a calf fettered by a tether to a post inside a corral but whose tether is long enough for it to lie down for a while outside of the corral. Similarly, a person externally fettered who is currently alive in this state is like a calf tethered to a post outside of a corral but who is currently lying down in the corral.

[2] A concentration attainment. See SN 42:8, SN 46:54, AN 2:30, AN 6:13, and AN 8:63.

[3] This individual, after leaving that deva realm, will either be reborn in one of the Pure Abodes or will gain unbinding. See AN 3:88.

[4] The Commentary states that there were many more devas present at Ven. Sāriputta's talk than the ones who went to see the Buddha, and that many of the devas listening to the discourse attained noble attainments. In fact, the Commentary, groups this sutta with the Mahāsamaya Sutta (DN 20), the Cūḷarāhulovāda Sutta (MN 147), and the Maŋgala Sutta (Sn 2:4) as having been particularly fruitful in this regard. Of these suttas, however, only MN 147 states that devas reached a noble attainment while listening to it.

[5] According to the Commentary, "here" can mean either here in the human realm or here in the Dhamma-Vinaya of a Buddha.

 


 

Of Related Interest:

MN 70;
AN 3:85–87

 


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