Anguttara Nikaya


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Anguttara Nikaya
Atthakanipata

Sutta 208

Brahmavihara Sutta

The Sublime Attitudes

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

 


 

[1][pts][olds][bodh] "Monks, I don't speak of the wiping out of intentional acts
that have been done and accumulated
without [their results] having been experienced,
either in the here and now
or in a further state hereafter.

Nor do I speak of the act of putting an end to suffering and stress
without having experienced [the results of] intentional acts
that have been done and accumulated.[1]

"That disciple of the noble ones —
thus devoid of covetousness,
devoid of ill will,
unbewildered,
alert,
mindful —
keeps pervading the first direction [the east]
with an awareness imbued with good will,
likewise the second,
likewise the third,
likewise the fourth.

Thus above, below, and all around,
everywhere, in its entirety,
he keeps pervading the all-encompassing cosmos
with an awareness imbued with good will —
abundant, expansive, immeasurable,
without hostility,
without ill will.

He discerns,

'Before,
this mind of mine was limited and undeveloped.

But now this mind of mine
is immeasurable and well developed.

And whatever action
that was done in a measurable way
does not remain there,
does not linger there.'

"What do you think, monks:

If that youth,
from childhood,
were to develop the release of awareness through good will,
would he do any evil action?"

"No, lord."

"Not doing any evil action, would he touch suffering?"

"No, lord, for when one does no evil action, from where would he touch suffering?"

"This release of awareness through good will
should be developed
whether one is a woman or a man.

Neither a woman nor a man can go
taking this body along.

Death, monks, is but a gap of a thought away.

One [who practices this release of awareness] discerns,

'Whatever evil action has been done by this body born of action,
that will all be experienced here [in this life].

It will not come to be hereafter.'

Thus developed, the release of awareness through good will
leads to nonreturning
for the monk who has gained gnosis here
and has penetrated to no higher release.

"That disciple of the noble ones — thus devoid of covetousness, devoid of ill will, unbewildered, alert, mindful — keeps pervading the first direction [the east] with an awareness imbued with compassion...

"That disciple of the noble ones — thus devoid of covetousness, devoid of ill will, unbewildered, alert, mindful — keeps pervading the first direction [the east] with an awareness imbued with appreciation...

"That disciple of the noble ones — thus devoid of covetousness, devoid of ill will, unbewildered, alert, mindful — keeps pervading the first direction [the east] with an awareness imbued with equanimity, likewise the second, likewise the third, likewise the fourth. Thus above, below, and all around, everywhere, in its entirety, he keeps pervading the all-encompassing cosmos with an awareness imbued with equanimity — abundant, expansive, immeasurable, without hostility, without ill will. He discerns, 'Before, this mind of mine was limited and undeveloped. But now this mind of mine is immeasurable and well developed. And whatever action that was done in a measurable way does not remain there, does not linger there.'

"What do you think, monks: If that youth, from childhood, were to develop the release of awareness through equanimity, would he do any evil action?"

"No, lord."

"Not doing any evil action, would he touch suffering?"

"No, lord, for when one does no evil action, from where would he touch suffering?"

"This release of awareness through equanimity should be developed whether one is a woman or a man. Neither a woman nor a man can go taking this body along. Death, monks, is but a gap of a thought away. One [who practices this release of awareness] discerns, 'Whatever evil action has been done by this body born of action, that will all be experienced here [in this life]. It will not come to be hereafter.' Thus developed, the release of awareness through equanimity leads to nonreturning for the monk who has gained gnosis here and has penetrated to no higher release."

 


[1] F. L. Woodward — the PTS translator of the Anguttara Tens and Elevens — notes that this sutta seems patched together from various sources. As proof, he cites the abrupt breaks between this paragraph and the next, and between the next and the one following it.

 


 

References:

See also: AN III.99.


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