Anguttara Nikaya


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Anguttara Nikaya
Atthakanipata

Sutta 32

Vihara Sutta

Dwellings (1)

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

 


 

[2][pts] "Monks, there are these nine step-by-step dwellings.

Which nine?

3. The first jhāna,
the second jhāna,
the third jhāna,
the fourth jhāna,
the dimension of the infinitude of space,
the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness,
the dimension of nothingness,
the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception,
the cessation of perception and feeling.

These are the nine step-by-step dwellings."[1]

 


[1] This translation follows the Thai edition of the Pali Canon, which is identical with the Burmese edition here. The PTS edition, following the Sri Lankan edition, includes the standard formulae for the nine dwellings, as follows:

"Monks, there are these nine step-by-step dwellings. Which nine?

"There is the case where a monk, quite secluded from sensuality, secluded from unskillful mental qualities, enters and remains in the first jhāna: rapture and pleasure born of seclusion, accompanied by directed thought and evaluation.

"With the stilling of directed thoughts and evaluations, he enters and remains in the second jhāna: rapture and pleasure born of concentration, unification of awareness free from directed thought and evaluation — internal assurance.

"With the fading of rapture, he remains equanimous, mindful, and alert, and senses pleasure with the body. He enters and remains in the third jhāna, of which the noble ones declare, 'Equanimous and mindful, he has a pleasant abiding.'

"With the abandoning of pleasure and pain — as with the earlier disappearance of joy and distress — he enters and remains in the fourth jhāna: purity of equanimity and mindfulness, neither-pleasure-nor-pain.

"With the complete transcending of perceptions of form, with the disappearance of perceptions of resistance, and not heeding perceptions of diversity, (perceiving,) 'Infinite space,' he enters and remains in the dimension of the infinitude of space.

"With the complete transcending of the dimension of the infinitude of space, (perceiving,) 'Infinite consciousness,' he enters and remains in the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness.

"With the complete transcending of the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness, (perceiving,) 'There is nothing,' he enters and remains in the dimension of nothingness.

"With the complete transcending of the dimension of nothingness, he enters and remains in the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception.

"With the complete transcending of the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception, he enters and remains in the cessation of perception and feeling.

"These are the nine step-by-step dwellings."

This longer version has the advantage of being more informative than the shorter version, but the shorter version fits better into the pattern of questions that frame this discourse and the following one, AN 9.33. The question there is, "And what, monks, are the nine step-by-step dwelling-attainments?" whereas the question here can be paraphrased as, "Which are the nine step-by-step dwellings?" In line with the fact that AN 9.33 focuses on the attainment of these dwellings — including the formulae for how they are attained — it makes sense that this discourse would simply list the dwellings without describing how they are attained.

 


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