Anguttara Nikaya


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Anguttara Nikāya
Chakka-Nipata
II: Sārāṇīya-Vagga

Sutta 19

Maranassati Sutta

Mindfulness of Death (1)

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

 


 

[1][pts] I have heard that at one time the Blessed One was staying at Nadika,
in the Brick Hall.
There he addressed the monks,

"Monks!"

"Yes, lord," the monks replied.

The Blessed One said:

"Mindfulness of death,
when developed and pursued,
is of great fruit and great benefit.
It plunges into the Deathless,
has the Deathless as its final end.
Therefore you should develop
mindfulness of death."

When this was said,
a certain monk addressed the Blessed One,

"I already develop mindfulness of death."

"And how do you develop mindfulness of death?"

"I think,

'O, that I might live for a day and night,
that I might attend
to the Blessed One's instructions.
I would have accomplished a great deal.'

This is how I develop mindfulness of death."

Then another monk addressed the Blessed One,

"I, too, already develop mindfulness of death."

"And how do you develop mindfulness of death?"

"I think,

'O, that I might live for a day,
that I might attend to the Blessed One's instructions.
I would have accomplished a great deal.'

This is how I develop mindfulness of death."

Then another monk addressed the Blessed One,

"I, too, develop mindfulness of death."

"And how do you develop mindfulness of death?"

"I think,

'O, that I might live for the interval
that it takes to eat a meal,
that I might attend to the Blessed One's instructions.
I would have accomplished a great deal.'

This is how I develop mindfulness of death."

Then another monk addressed the Blessed One,

"I, too, develop mindfulness of death."

"And how do you develop mindfulness of death?"

"I think,

'O, that I might live for the interval
that it takes to swallow
having chewed up four morsels of food,
that I might attend to the Blessed One's instructions.
I would have accomplished a great deal.'

This is how I develop mindfulness of death."

Then another monk addressed the Blessed One,

"I, too, develop mindfulness of death."

"And how do you develop mindfulness of death?"

"I think,

'O, that I might live for the interval
that it takes to swallow
having chewed up one morsel of food,
that I might attend to the Blessed One's instructions.
I would have accomplished a great deal.'

This is how I develop mindfulness of death."

Then another monk addressed the Blessed One,

"I, too, develop mindfulness of death."

"And how do you develop mindfulness of death?"

"I think,

'O, that I might live for the interval
that it takes to breathe out
after breathing in,
or to breathe in
after breathing out,
that I might attend to the Blessed One's instructions.
I would have accomplished a great deal.'

This is how I develop mindfulness of death."

When this was said,
the Blessed One addressed the monks.

"Whoever develops mindfulness of death, thinking,

'O, that I might live for a day and night...
for a day...
for the interval that it takes to eat a meal...
for the interval that it takes to swallow having chewed up four morsels of food,
that I might attend to the Blessed One's instructions.
I would have accomplished a great deal' —

they are said to dwell heedlessly.

They develop mindfulness of death slowly
for the sake of ending the effluents.

"But whoever develops mindfulness of death, thinking,

'O, that I might live for the interval
that it takes to swallow
having chewed up one morsel of food...
for the interval
that it takes to breathe out
after breathing in,
or to breathe in
after breathing out,
that I might attend to the Blessed One's instructions.
I would have accomplished a great deal' —

they are said to dwell heedfully.

They develop mindfulness of death acutely
for the sake of ending the effluents.

"Therefore you should train yourselves:

'We will dwell heedfully.

We will develop mindfulness of death acutely
for the sake of ending the effluents.'

That is how you should train yourselves."

That is what the Blessed One said.

Gratified, the monks delighted in the Blessed One's words.

 


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