Anguttara Nikaya


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Anguttara Nikaya
Sattakanipata

Sutta 63

Nagara Sutta

The Fortress

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

 


 

[1][pts] "Monks, when a royal frontier fortress is well provided with the seven requisites of a fortress, and can obtain at will — without difficulty, without trouble — the four types of food, then it is said to be a royal frontier fortress that can't be undone by external foes or duplicitous allies.

"And with which seven requisites of a fortress is it well provided?

"There is the case where a royal frontier fortress has a foundation post — deeply rooted, well embedded, immovable, and unshakable. With this first requisite of a fortress it is well provided for the protection of those within and to ward off those without.

"Furthermore, the royal frontier fortress has a moat, both deep and wide. With this second requisite of a fortress it is well provided for the protection of those within and to ward off those without.

"Furthermore, the royal frontier fortress has an encircling road, both high and wide. With this third requisite of a fortress it is well provided for the protection of those within and to ward off those without.

"Furthermore, in the royal frontier fortress many weapons are stored, both arrows and things to be hurled. With this fourth requisite of a fortress it is well provided for the protection of those within and to ward off those without.

"Furthermore, the royal frontier fortress has a large army stationed within — elephant soldiers, cavalry, charioteers, bowmen, standard-bearers, billeting officers, soldiers of the supply corps, noted princes, commando heroes, infantry, and slaves. With this fifth requisite of a fortress it is well provided for the protection of those within and to ward off those without.

"Furthermore, the royal frontier fortress has a gate-keeper — wise, experienced, intelligent — to keep out those he doesn't know and to let in those he does. With this sixth requisite of a fortress it is well provided for the protection of those within and to ward off those without.

"Furthermore, the royal frontier fortress has ramparts: high and thick and completely covered with plaster. With this seventh requisite of a fortress it is well provided for the protection of those within and to ward off those without.

"These are the seven requisites of a fortress with which it is well provided.

"And which are the four types of food that it can obtain at will, without difficulty, without trouble?

"There is the case where the royal frontier fortress has large stores of grass, timber and water for the delight, convenience, and comfort of those within, and to ward off those without. Furthermore, it has large stores of rice and barley for the delight, convenience, and comfort of those within, and to ward off those without. Furthermore, it has large stores of sesame, green gram, and other beans for the delight, convenience, and comfort of those within, and to ward off those without. Furthermore, it has large stores of tonics — ghee, fresh butter, oil, honey, molasses, and salt — for the delight, convenience, and comfort of those within, and to ward off those without. These are the four types of food it can obtain at will, without difficulty, without trouble.

"When a royal frontier fortress is well provided with these seven requisites of a fortress, and can obtain at will — without difficulty, without trouble — these four types of food, then it is said to be a royal frontier fortress that can't be undone by external foes or duplicitous allies.

"In the same way, monks, when a disciple of the noble ones is endowed with seven true qualities (saddhamma) and can obtain at will — without difficulty, without trouble — the four jhanas, heightened mental states that provide a pleasant abiding in the here-and-now, he is said to be a disciple of the noble ones who can't be undone by Mara, can't be undone by the Evil One.

"Now, with which seven true qualities is he endowed?

"Just as the royal frontier fortress has a foundation post — deeply rooted, well embedded, immovable, and unshakable — for the protection of those within and to ward off those without; in the same way a disciple of the noble ones has conviction, is convinced of the Tathagata's Awakening: 'Indeed, the Blessed One is worthy and rightly self-awakened, consummate in knowledge and conduct, well-gone, a knower of the cosmos, an unexcelled trainer of those persons ready to be tamed, teacher of human and divine beings, awakened, blessed.' With conviction as his foundation post, the disciple of the noble ones abandons what is unskillful, develops what is skillful, abandons what is blameworthy, develops what is blameless, and looks after himself with purity. With this first true quality is he endowed.

"Just as the royal frontier fortress has a moat, both deep and wide, for the protection of those within and to ward off those without; in the same way, the disciple of the noble ones has a sense of shame. He feels shame at [the thought of engaging in] bodily misconduct, verbal misconduct, mental misconduct. He feels shame at falling into evil, unskillful actions. With shame as his moat, the disciple of the noble ones abandons what is unskillful, develops what is skillful, abandons what is blameworthy, develops what is blameless, and looks after himself with purity. With this second true quality is he endowed.

"Just as the royal frontier fortress has an encircling road, both high and wide, for the protection of those within and to ward off those without; in the same way, the disciple of the noble ones has a sense of concern. He feels concern for [the suffering that results from] bodily misconduct, verbal misconduct, mental misconduct. He feels concern at falling into evil, unskillful actions. With concern as his encircling road, the disciple of the noble ones abandons what is unskillful, develops what is skillful, abandons what is blameworthy, develops what is blameless, and looks after himself with purity. With this third true quality is he endowed.

"Just as the royal frontier fortress has many weapons stored, both arrows and things to be hurled, for the protection of those within and to ward off those without; in the same way, the disciple of the noble ones has heard much, has retained what he has heard, has stored what he has heard. Whatever teachings are admirable in the beginning, admirable in the middle, admirable in the end, that — in their meaning and expression — proclaim the holy life that is entirely complete and pure: those he has listened to often, retained, discussed, accumulated, examined with his mind, and well-penetrated in terms of his views. With learning as his weapons, the disciple of the noble ones abandons what is unskillful, develops what is skillful, abandons what is blameworthy, develops what is blameless, and looks after himself with purity. With this fourth true quality is he endowed.

"Just as the royal frontier fortress has a large army stationed within — elephant soldiers, cavalry, charioteers, bowmen, standard-bearers, billeting officers, soldiers of the supply corps, noted princes, commando heroes, infantry, and slaves — for the protection of those within and to ward off those without; in the same way a disciple of the noble ones keeps his persistence aroused for abandoning unskillful mental qualities and taking on skillful mental qualities, is steadfast, solid in his effort, not shirking his duties with regard to skillful mental qualities. With persistence as his army, the disciple of the noble ones abandons what is unskillful, develops what is skillful, abandons what is blameworthy, develops what is blameless, and looks after himself with purity. With this fifth true quality is he endowed.

"Just as the royal frontier fortress has a gate-keeper — wise, experienced, intelligent — to keep out those he doesn't know and to let in those he does, for the protection of those within and to ward off those without; in the same way a disciple of the noble ones is mindful, highly meticulous, remembering and able to call to mind even things that were done and said long ago. With mindfulness as his gate-keeper, the disciple of the ones abandons what is unskillful, develops what is skillful, abandons what is blameworthy, develops what is blameless, and looks after himself with purity. With this sixth true quality is he endowed.

"Just as the royal frontier fortress has ramparts — high and thick and completely covered with plaster — for the protection of those within and to ward off those without; in the same way a disciple of the noble ones is discerning, endowed with discernment leading to the arising of the goal — noble, penetrating, leading to the right ending of stress. With discernment as his covering of plaster, the disciple of the noble ones abandons what is unskillful, develops what is skillful, abandons what is blameworthy, develops what is blameless, and looks after himself with purity. With this seventh true quality is he endowed.

"These are the seven true qualities with which he is endowed.

"And which are the four jhanas — heightened mental states that provide a pleasant abiding in the here-and-now — that he can obtain at will, without difficulty, without trouble?

Just as a royal frontier fortress has large stores of grass, timber and water for the delight, convenience, and comfort of those within, and to ward off those without; in the same way the disciple of the noble ones, quite withdrawn from sensual pleasures, withdrawn from unskillful qualities, enters and remains in the first jhana — rapture and pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought and evaluation — for his own delight, convenience, and comfort, and to alight on Unbinding.

Just as a royal frontier fortress has large stores of rice and barley for the delight, convenience, and comfort of those within, and to ward off those without; in the same way the disciple of the noble ones, with the stilling of directed thought and evaluation, enters and remains in the second jhana — rapture and pleasure born of composure, unification of awareness free from directed thought and evaluation — internal assurance — for his own delight, convenience, and comfort, and to alight on Unbinding.

Just as a royal frontier fortress has large stores of sesame, green gram, and other beans for the delight, convenience, and comfort of those within, and to ward off those without; in the same way the disciple of the noble ones, with the fading of rapture, remains in equanimity, mindful and alert, is physically sensitive to pleasure, and enters and remains in the third jhana, of which the Noble Ones declare, 'Equanimous and mindful, he has a pleasurable abiding,' for his own delight, convenience, and comfort, and to alight on Unbinding...

Just as a royal frontier fortress has large stores of tonics — ghee, fresh butter, oil, honey, molasses, and salt — for the delight, convenience, and comfort of those within, and to ward off those without; in the same way the disciple of the noble ones, with the abandoning of pleasure and stress, as with the earlier disappearance of elation and distress, enters and remains in the fourth jhana — purity of equanimity and mindfulness, neither-pleasure-nor-pain — for his own delight, convenience, and comfort, and to alight on Unbinding.

"These are the four jhanas — heightened mental states that provide a pleasant abiding in the here-and-now — that he can obtain at will, without difficulty, without trouble.

"When a disciple of the noble ones is endowed with these seven true qualities and can obtain at will — without difficulty, without trouble — these four jhanas, heightened mental states that provide a pleasant abiding in the here-and-now, he is said to be a disciple of the noble ones who can't be undone by Mara, can't be undone by the Evil One."

 


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