Anguttara Nikaya


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Anguttara Nikaya
Ekadasakanipata

Sutta 10

Sandha Sutta

To Sandha

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

 


 

[1][pts] On one occasion the Blessed One was staying at Nadika in the Brick Hall. Then Ven. Sandha went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there the Blessed One said to him, "Sandha, practice the absorption (jhana) of a thoroughbred horse, not the absorption of an unbroken colt. And how is an unbroken colt absorbed?

"An unbroken colt, tied to the feeding trough, is absorbed with the thought, 'Barley grain! Barley grain!' Why is that? Because as he is tied to the feeding trough, the thought does not occur to him, 'I wonder what task the trainer will have me do today? What should I do in response?' Tied to the feeding trough, he is simply absorbed with the thought, 'Barley grain! Barley grain!'

"In the same way, there are cases where an unbroken colt of a man, having gone to the wilderness, to the foot of a tree, or to an empty dwelling, dwells with his awareness overcome by sensual passion, obsessed with sensual passion. He does not discern the escape, as it actually is present, from sensual passion once it has arisen. Making that sensual passion the focal point, he absorbs himself with it, besorbs, resorbs, and supersorbs himself with it.

"He dwells with his awareness overcome by ill will... sloth and drowsiness... restlessness and anxiety... uncertainty, obsessed with uncertainty. He does not discern the escape, as it actually is present, from uncertainty once it has arisen. Making that uncertainty the focal point, he absorbs himself with it, besorbs, resorbs, and supersorbs himself with it.

"He is absorbed dependent on earth... liquid... fire... wind... the sphere of the infinitude of space... the sphere of the infinitude of consciousness... the sphere of nothingness... the sphere of neither perception nor non-perception... this world... the next world... whatever is seen, heard, sensed, cognized, attained, sought after, pondered by the intellect. That is how an unbroken colt of a man is absorbed.

"And how is a thoroughbred absorbed? An excellent thoroughbred horse tied to the feeding trough, is not absorbed with the thought, 'Barley grain! Barley grain!' Why is that? Because as he is tied to the feeding trough, the thought occurs to him, 'I wonder what task the trainer will have me do today? What should I do in response?' Tied to the feeding trough, he is not absorbed with the thought, 'Barley grain! Barley grain!' The excellent thoroughbred horse regards the feel of the spur as a debt, an imprisonment, a loss, a piece of bad luck.

"In the same way, an excellent thoroughbred of a man, having gone to the wilderness, to the foot of a tree, or to an empty dwelling, dwells with his awareness not overcome by sensual passion, not obsessed with sensual passion. He discerns the escape, as it actually is present, from sensual passion once it has arisen.

"He dwells with his awareness not overcome by ill will... sloth and drowsiness... restlessness and anxiety... uncertainty, obsessed with uncertainty. He discerns the escape, as it actually is present, from uncertainty once it has arisen.

"He is absorbed dependent neither on earth, liquid, heat, wind, the sphere of the infinitude of space, the sphere of the infinitude of consciousness, the sphere of nothingness, the sphere of neither perception nor non-perception, this world, the next world, nor on whatever is seen, heard, sensed, cognized, attained, sought after, or pondered by the intellect — and yet he is absorbed. And to this excellent thoroughbred of a man, absorbed in this way, the gods, together with Indra, the Brahmas, and Pajapati, pay homage even from afar:

'Homage to you, O thoroughbred man.
Homage to you, O superlative man —
you of whom we don't know even what it is
dependent on which
you're absorbed.'"

When this was said, Ven. Sandha said to the Blessed One, "But in what way, lord, is the excellent thoroughbred of a man absorbed when he is absorbed dependent neither on earth, liquid, heat, wind, the sphere of the infinitude of space, the sphere of the infinitude of consciousness, the sphere of nothingness, the sphere of neither perception nor non-perception, this world, the next world, nor on whatever is seen, heard, sensed, cognized, attained, sought after, or pondered by the intellect — and yet he is absorbed, so that to this excellent thoroughbred of a man, absorbed in this way, the gods, together with Indra, the Brahmas, and Pajapati, pay homage even from afar:

'Homage to you, O thoroughbred man.
Homage to you, O superlative man —
you of whom we don't know even what it is
dependent on which
you're absorbed.'"

"There is the case, Sandha, where for an excellent thoroughbred of a man the perception (mental note or label) of earth with regard to earth has ceased to exist; the perception of liquid with regard to liquid... the perception of fire with regard to fire... the perception of wind with regard to wind... the perception of the sphere of the infinitude of space with regard to the sphere of the infinitude of space... the perception of the sphere of the infinitude of consciousness with regard to the sphere of the infinitude of consciousness... the perception of the sphere of nothingness with regard to the sphere of nothingness... the perception of the sphere of neither perception nor non-perception with regard to the sphere of neither perception nor non-perception... the perception of this world with regard to this world... the next world with regard to the next world... and whatever is seen, heard, sensed, cognized, attained, sought after, or pondered by the intellect: the perception of that has ceased to exist.

"Absorbed in this way, the excellent thoroughbred of a man is absorbed dependent neither on earth, liquid, fire, wind, the sphere of the infinitude of space, the sphere of the infinitude of consciousness, the sphere of nothingness, the sphere of neither perception nor non-perception, this world, the next world, nor on whatever is seen, heard, sensed, cognized, attained, sought after, or pondered by the intellect — and yet he is absorbed. And to this excellent thoroughbred of a man, absorbed in this way, the gods, together with Indra, the Brahmas, and Pajapati, pay homage even from afar:

'Homage to you, O thoroughbred man.
Homage to you, O superlative man —
you of whom we don't know even what it is
dependent on which
you're absorbed.'"

 


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