Khuddaka Nikaya


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Itivuttaka

[I] [ II] [III] [IV]

 

II. The Group Of Twos

Suttas 28-49

Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
For free distribution only.

 


 

[28] This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: "Endowed with two things, a monk lives in stress in the present life -- troubled, distressed, and feverish -- and at the break-up of the body, after death, a bad destination can be expected. Which two? A lack of guarding of the doors of the sense faculties, and knowing no moderation in food. Endowed with these two things, a monk lives in stress in the present life -- troubled, distressed, and feverish -- and at the break-up of the body, after death, a bad destination can be expected."

Eye and ear and nose,
tongue and body and mind:
when a monk leaves these doors unguarded
    -- knowing no moderation in food,
    not restraining his senses --
he experiences stress:
    stress in body, stress
    in mind.
Burning in body
burning in mind,
    whether by day or by night,
    he lives
    in suffering and stress.

 


 

[29] This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: "Endowed with two things, a monk lives in ease in the present life -- untroubled, undistressed, and unfeverish -- and at the break-up of the body, after death, a good destination can be expected. Which two? A guarding of the doors of the sense faculties, and knowing moderation in food. Endowed with these two things, a monk lives in ease in the present life -- untroubled, undistressed, and unfeverish -- and at the break-up of the body, after death, a good destination can be expected."

Eye and ear and nose,
tongue and body and mind:
when a monk has these doors well guarded
-- knowing moderation in food,
    restraining his senses --
he experiences ease:
    ease in body, ease
    in mind.
Not burning in body,
not burning in mind,
    whether by day or by night,
    he lives
    in ease.

 


 

[30] This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: "There are these two things that cause remorse. Which two? There is the case of the person who has not done what is admirable, has not done what is skillful, has not given protection to those in fear, and instead has done what is evil, savage, and cruel. Thinking, 'I have not done what is admirable,' he feels remorse. Thinking, 'I have done what is evil,' he feels remorse. These are the two things that cause remorse."

Having engaged
    in bodily misconduct,
    verbal misconduct,
    misconduct of mind,[1]
    or whatever else is flawed,
not having done what is skillful,
having done much that is not,
at the break-up of the body,
the undiscerning one reappears in
        hell.

 


 

[31] This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: "There are these two things that cause no remorse. Which two? There is the case of the person who has done what is admirable, has done what is skillful, has given protection to those in fear, and has done nothing that is evil, savage, or cruel. Thinking, 'I have done what is admirable,' he feels no remorse. Thinking, 'I have not done what is evil,' he feels no remorse. These are the two things that cause no remorse."

Having abandoned
    bodily misconduct,
    verbal misconduct,
    misconduct of mind,
    and whatever else is flawed,
not having done what's not skillful,
having done much that is,
at the break-up of the body,
the discerning one reappears
        in heaven.

 


 

[32] This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: "Endowed with two things, a person -- as if carried off -- is thus placed in hell. Which two? Evil habits and evil views. Endowed with these two things, a person -- as if carried off -- is thus placed in hell."

    Evil habits and
    evil views:[2]
a person, undiscerning,
endowed with these two things,
at the break-up of the body
    reappears in hell.

 


 

[33] This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: "Endowed with two things, a person -- as if carried off -- is thus placed in heaven. Which two? Auspicious habits and auspicious views. Endowed with these two things, a person -- as if carried off -- is thus placed in heaven."

    Auspicious habits and
    auspicious views:
a person, discerning,
endowed with these two things,
at the break-up of the body
    reappears in heaven.

 


 

[34] This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: "A person without ardor, without concern [for the results of doing evil], is incapable of self-awakening, incapable of Unbinding, incapable of attaining the unsurpassed safety from bondage. A person ardent and concerned is capable of self-awakening, capable of Unbinding, capable of attaining the unsurpassed safety from bondage."

        With no ardor, no
        concern,
    lazy, with low persistence,
    full of sloth and drowsiness,
    shameless, without respect:
        he's incapable,
        a monk like this,
    of touching superlative
        self-awakening.

But whoever is mindful, masterful,
        absorbed in jhana,
    ardent, concerned, and heedful,
    cutting the fetter of birth and aging,
    touches right here
        a self-awakening un-
        surpassed.

 


 

[35] This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: "Monks, this holy life is lived, not for the sake of deceiving people, not for the sake of inveigling people, not for the sake of the rewards of gain, offerings, and tribute, nor with the thought, 'Thus may people know me.' This holy life is lived for the sake of restraint and abandoning."

For the sake of restraint,
for the sake of abandoning,
he, the Blessed One, taught
a holy life not handed down,[3]
    leading to
    -- plunging into --
        Unbinding.
This path is pursued
    by those great in purpose,
    great seers.
Those who follow it,
as taught by the One Awakened,
heeding the Teacher's message,
    will put an end
        to suffering and stress.

 


 

[36] This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: "Monks, this holy life is lived, not for the sake of deceiving people, not for the sake of inveigling people, not for the sake of the rewards of gain, offerings, and tribute, nor with the thought, 'Thus may people know me.' This holy life is lived for the sake of direct knowledge[4] and full comprehension."

For the sake of direct knowledge and full
    comprehension,
he, the Blessed One, taught
a holy life not handed down,
    leading to
    -- plunging into --
        Unbinding.

This path is pursued
    by those great in purpose,
    great seers.
Those who follow it,
as taught by the One Awakened,
heeding the Teacher's message,
    will put an end
    to suffering and stress.

 


 

[37] This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: "Endowed with two things, a monk lives in ease in the present life and is appropriately aroused for the ending of the fermentations. Which two? A sense of urgency and awe toward things that should inspire urgency and awe[5] and, feeling urgency and awe, appropriate exertion. Endowed with two things, a monk lives in ease in the present life and is appropriately aroused for the ending of the fermentations."

    Feeling urgency, awe,
toward what should inspire it,
    the wise,
    masterful,
    ardent monk
should investigate
with discernment.
One who lives thus ardently,
    not restlessly, at peace,
committed to awareness-tranquillity
would attain the ending
        of suffering and stress.

 


 

[38] This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: "Two trains of thought often occur to the Tathagata, worthy and rightly self-awakened: the thought of safety and that of seclusion.

"The Tathagata enjoys non-ill will, delights in non-ill will. To him -- enjoying non-ill will, delighting in non-ill will -- this thought often occurs: 'By this activity I harm no one at all, whether weak or firm.'

"The Tathagata enjoys seclusion, delights in seclusion. To him -- enjoying seclusion, delighting in seclusion -- this thought often occurs: 'Whatever is unskillful is abandoned.'

"Thus, monks, you too should live enjoying non-ill will, delighting in non-ill will. To you -- enjoying non-ill will, delighting in non-ill will -- this thought will often occur: 'By this activity we harm no one at all, whether weak or firm.'

"You too should live enjoying seclusion, delighting in seclusion. To you -- enjoying seclusion, delighting in seclusion -- this thought will often occur: 'What is unskillful? What is not yet abandoned? What are we abandoning?'"

To the Tathagata,
    awakened,
who endured what is hard to endure,
two thoughts occur:
    safety        the first thought mentioned;
    seclusion    the second declared.

The dispeller of darkness, free
of fermentation,
the great seer
who has        gone beyond,
        reached attainment,
    gained mastery,
crossed over the poisons;
    who's released in the ending of craving:

        that sage

bears his last body,
has shaken off Mara, I tell you,
has gone    beyond aging.
As one standing on a rocky crag
would see the people all around below,
    so the wise,
with the all-around eye,
having scaled the tower
    made of Dhamma,
having crossed over sorrow,
gaze on those overwhelmed with sorrow,
    conquered by aging and death.

 


 

[39] This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: "The Tathagata -- worthy and rightly self-awakened -- has two Dhamma discourses given in sequence. Which two? 'See evil as evil.' This is the first Dhamma discourse. 'Having seen evil as evil, become disenchanted there, dispassionate there, released.' This is the second Dhamma discourse. These are the two Dhamma discourses that the Tathagata -- worthy and rightly self-awakened -- has given in sequence."

See the two statements,
        declared in sequence,
by the Tathagata,
awakened, sympathetic
to all beings.
The first: See evil.
Be dispassionate there
    toward evil.
Then, with a mind dispassionate,
you will put an end
    to suffering and stress.

 


 

[40] This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: "Ignorance[6] precedes the arrival of unskillful qualities; lack of conscience and lack of concern[7] follow after. Clear knowing precedes the arrival of skillful qualities; conscience and concern follow after."

Any bad destinations
in this world, in the next,
are rooted in ignorance -- all --
    accumulations
    of desire and greed.

And when a person of evil desires
lacks conscience and respect,
evil comes from that,
and by that he goes
to deprivation.

So cleansing away
ignorance, desire, and greed,
a monk giving rise to clear knowing
would abandon all bad destinations.

 


 

[41] This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: "Those beings are truly deprived who are deprived of noble discernment. They live in stress in the present life -- troubled, distressed, and feverish -- and at the break-up of the body, after death, a bad destination can be expected.

"Those beings are not deprived who are not deprived of noble discernment. They live in ease in the present life -- untroubled, undistressed, and not feverish -- and at the break-up of the body, after death, a good destination can be expected.

Look at the world
    -- including its heavenly beings:
deprived of discernment,
making an abode in name-and-form,
it conceives that 'This is the truth.'
The best discernment in the world
is what leads
    to penetration,
for it rightly discerns
the total ending of birth and becoming.

Human and heavenly beings
hold them dear:
those who are    self-awakened,
            mindful,
bearing their last bodies
with joyful discernment.

 


 

[42] This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: "There are these two bright qualities that safeguard the world. Which two? Conscience and concern [for the results of evil actions]. If these two bright qualities did not safeguard the world, there would be no discerning of "mother," "aunt," "uncle's wife," "teacher's wife," or "wife of those deserving respect." The world would fall into promiscuity, like goats, sheep, chickens, pigs, dogs, and jackals. But because these two bright qualities do safeguard the world, there is the discerning of "mother," "aunt," "uncle's wife," "teacher's wife," and "wife of those deserving respect."

Those in whom
concern and conscience
are not always found
    have strayed
        from the bright root,
    are headed
        to birth and death.
But those in whom
concern and conscience
are rightly established always,
who are mature in the holy life:
        they are calm,
    their further becoming
        ended.

 


 

[43] This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: "There is, monks, an unborn -- unbecome -- unmade -- unfabricated. If there were not that unborn -- unbecome -- unmade -- unfabricated, there would not be the case that emancipation from the born -- become -- made -- fabricated would be discerned. But precisely because there is an unborn -- unbecome -- unmade -- unfabricated, emancipation from the born -- become -- made -- fabricated is thus discerned."

The born, become, produced,
made, fabricated, impermanent,
composed of aging and death,
a nest of illnesses, perishing,
come from nourishment
and the guide [that is craving] --
    is unfit for delight.

The escape from that
is
calm, permanent,
beyond inference,
unborn, unproduced,
the sorrowless, stainless state,
the cessation of stressful qualities,
the stilling of fabrications,
        bliss.

 


 

[44] This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: "Monks, there are these two forms of the Unbinding property. Which two? The Unbinding property with fuel remaining, and the Unbinding property with no fuel remaining.

And what is the Unbinding property with fuel remaining? There is the case where a monk is an Arahant whose fermentations have ended, who has reached fulfillment, finished the task, laid down the burden, attained the true goal, destroyed the fetter of becoming, and is released through right gnosis. His five sense faculties still remain and, owing to their being intact, he is cognizant of the pleasant and the unpleasant, and is sensitive to pleasure and pain. His ending of passion, aversion, and delusion is termed the Unbinding property with fuel remaining.[8]

And what is the Unbinding property with no fuel remaining? There is the case where a monk is an Arahant whose fermentations have ended, who has reached fulfillment, finished the task, laid down the burden, attained the true goal, destroyed the fetter of becoming, and is released through right gnosis. For him, all that is sensed, being unrelished, will grow cold right here. This is termed the Unbinding property with no fuel remaining."[9]

These two            proclaimed
                by the one with vision,
Unbinding properties    the one independent,
                the one who is Such:[10]
one property, here in this life
with fuel remaining
    from the destruction of craving,
    the guide to becoming,
and that with no fuel remaining,
    after this life,
in which all becoming
    totally ceases.

Those who know
this state uncompounded,
their minds released
through the destruction of craving,
    the guide to becoming,
they, attaining the Teaching's core,
    delighting in ending,
have abandoned all becoming:
        they, the Such.

 


 

[45] This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: "Monks, live enjoying aloofness, delighting in aloofness, inwardly committed to awareness-tranquillity, not neglecting jhana, endowed with clear-seeing insight, and frequenting empty buildings. As you live enjoying aloofness, delighting in aloofness, inwardly committed to awareness-tranquillity, not neglecting jhana, endowed with clear-seeing insight, and frequenting empty buildings, then one of two fruits can be expected: either gnosis right in the present life, or -- if there be any remnant of clinging-sustenance -- non-return."
Those with calm minds --
    masterful,
    mindful,
    absorbed in jhana --
clearly see things rightly,
not intent on sensual pleasures.
Delighting in heedfulness,
    calm,
seeing danger in heedlessness, they
    -- incapable of falling away --
are right on the verge of Unbinding.

 


 

[46] This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: "Monks, live with the trainings [in heightened virtue, heightened mind, and heightened discernment] as your reward, with discernment uppermost, release the essence, and mindfulness the governing principle. As you live with the trainings as your reward, with discernment uppermost, release the essence, and mindfulness the governing principle, then one of two fruits can be expected: either gnosis right in the present life, or -- if there be any remnant of clinging-sustenance -- non-return."

Complete in the training,
not subject to falling away,
one with discernment
    uppermost,
seeing the stopping, the ending of birth:
    that sage
bears his last body,
has shaken off Mara, I tell you,
has gone beyond aging.
    So, always
delighting in jhana,
    centered,
    ardent,
seeing the stopping, the ending of birth,
conquering Mara, along with his host,
    monks,
be gone-beyond aging and death.

 


 

[47] This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: "A monk should be wakeful: mindful, alert, centered, sensitive, clear, and calm. And there he should, at the appropriate times, see clearly into skillful mental qualities. For a monk who is wakeful -- mindful, alert, centered, sensitive, clear, and calm, seeing clearly, at the appropriate times, into skillful mental qualities -- one of two fruits can be expected: either gnosis right in the present life, or -- if there be any remnant of clinging-sustenance -- non-return."

Those who are wakeful, listen!
Those who are sleeping, wake up!
Wakefulness is better than sleep.
For those who are wakeful,
    there's no danger, no fear.
Whoever is wakeful,
    mindful, alert,
    centered, sensitive,
    calm, and clear,
rightly exploring the Dhamma
at appropriate times,
will -- at oneness --
shatter the darkness.

So be devoted to wakefulness.
The ardent monk
-- masterful, acquiring jhana,
cutting the fetter of birth and aging --
touches right here
a self-awakening un-
    surpassed.

 


 

[48] This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: "Monks, these two are doomed to deprivation, to hell, for not abandoning their conduct. Which two? One who, not living the celibate life, pretends to be one who lives the celibate life; and one who groundlessly accuses one who lives the celibate life perfectly and purely of uncelibate behavior. These are the two who are doomed to deprivation, to hell, for not abandoning their conduct."

He goes to hell,
the one who asserts
what didn't take place,
as does the one
who, having done,
says, 'I didn't.'

Both -- low-acting people --
there become equal:
after death, in the world beyond.

An ochre robe tied 'round their necks,
many with evil qualities
-- unrestrained, evil --
rearise, because of their evil acts,
    in hell.

Better to eat an iron ball
-- glowing, aflame --
than that, unprincipled and
    unrestrained,
you should eat the alms of the country.

 


 

[49] This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: "Overcome by two viewpoints, some human and divine beings adhere, other human and divine beings slip right past, while those with vision see.

"And how do some adhere? Human and divine beings enjoy becoming, delight in becoming, are satisfied with becoming. When the Dhamma is being taught for the sake of the cessation of becoming, their minds do not take to it, are not calmed by it, do not settle on it or become resolved on it. This is how some adhere.

"And how do some slip right past? Some, feeling horrified, humiliated, and disgusted with that very becoming, relish non-becoming: 'When this self, at the break-up of the body, after death, perishes and is destroyed, and does not exist after death, that is peaceful, that is exquisite, that is sufficiency!' This is how some slip right past.

"And how do those with vision see? There is the case where a monk sees what has come into being as come into being. Seeing what has come into being as come into being, he practices for disenchantment with what has come into being, dispassion toward what has come into being, cessation of what has come into being. This is how those with vision see."[11]

Those, having seen
    what's come to be
        as what's come to be,
    and what's gone beyond
        what's come to be,
    are released in line
        with what's come to be,
    through the exhaustion of craving
        for becoming.

If they've comprehended
    what's come to be,
and are free from the craving
    for becoming and non-,
        with the non-becoming
        of what's come to be,
            monks come
            to no further becoming.

 


[1] AN X.176 defines bodily misconduct as killing, stealing, and sexual misconduct; verbal misconduct as lies, divisive speech, harsh speech, and idle chatter; and mental misconduct as covetousness, ill will, and wrong views (see the note to 32).

[2] MN 117 gives the following example of an evil view: "There is nothing given, nothing offered, nothing sacrificed. There is no fruit or result of good or bad actions. There is no this world, no next world, no mother, no father, no spontaneously reborn beings; no priests or contemplatives who, faring rightly andpracticing rightly, proclaim this world and the next after having directly known and realized it for themselves."

[3] "Not handed down": not derived from an ancient tradition, and not dependent on ancient tradition for its authority.

[4] Direct knowledge = abhiñña. The Canon lists six types of abhiñña: psychic powers, clairaudience, the ability to read the minds of others, recollection of past lives, clairvoyance, and -- most important of all -- knowledge of the ending of the mental fermentations.

[5] Urgency and awe = samvega. Other meanings for this term include shock, dismay, and alienation. In the Pali Canon, this emotion is often accompanied by fear and a sensed need to escape from overwhelming danger. The things that should inspire urgency and awe are the first four of the five reflections listed in AN V.57: "I am subject to aging, have not gone beyond aging. I am subject to illness, have not gone beyond illness. I am subject to death, have not gone beyond death. I will grow different, separate from all that is dear and appealing to me." Appropriate exertion is indicated by the fifth reflection: "I am the owner of my actions, heir to my actions, born of my actions, related through my actions, and have by actions as my arbitrator. Whatever I do, for good or for evil, to that will I fall heir."

[6] Ignorance (avijja) means ignorance of stress, its origination, its cessation, and the way leading to its cessation.

[7] Conscience (hiri) means a healthy sense of shame -- derived from self-esteem -- at the idea of doing evil. Concern (ottappa) means fear of the consequences of doing evil.

[8] With fuel remaining (sa-upadisesa) and with no fuel remaining (anupadisesa): The analogy here is to a fire. In the first case, the flames are out, but the embers are still glowing. In the second, the fire is so thoroughly out that the embers have grown cold. The "fuel" here is the five aggregates (see the Glossary). While the arahant is still alive, he/she still experiences the five aggregates, but they do not burn with the fires of passion, aversion, or delusion. When the arahant passes away, there is no longer any experience of aggregates here or anywhere else. For a discussion of this point, see The Mind Like Fire Unbound, pp. 21-37.

[9] See note above.

[10] Such (tadi): An adjective to describe one who has attained the goal. It indicates that the person's state is undefinable and not subject to change or influence of any sort.

[11] This discourse illustrates, in a technical fashion, the function of appropriate attention explained in the note to 16. SN XII.15 presents the same point from a different perspective: "This world takes as its object a polarity, that of existence and non-existence. But when one sees the origination of the world (= the six senses and their objects) as it actually is with right discernment, 'non-existence' with reference to the world does not occur to one. When one sees the cessation of the world as it actually is with right discernment, 'existence' with reference to the world does not occur to one. By and large, this world is in bondage to attachments, clingings, and biases. But one such as this does not get involved with or cling to these attachments, clingings, fixations of awareness, biases, or obsessions; nor is he resolved on 'my self.' He has no uncertainty or doubt that, when there is arising, only stress is arising; and that when there is passing away, only stress is passing away. In this, his knowledge is independent of others."


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