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Saɱyutta Nikāya:
IV. Saḷāyatana Vagga
35: Saḷāyatana Saɱyutta
Paññāsaɱ Catutthaɱ
4. Āsīvisa Vagga

Sutta 202

Avassuta-Pariyāya Suttaɱ

Soggy

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

 


 

[1][pts][bodh] I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying among the Sakyans at Kapilavatthu in the Banyan Park. Now at that time a new reception hall[1] had just been built by the Kapilavatthu Sakyans, and it had not yet been dwelled in by any contemplative, priest, or anyone at all in human form. So the Kapilavatthu Sakyans went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down, sat to one side. As they were sitting there they said to him, "Lord, a new reception hall has just been built by the Kapilavatthu Sakyans, and it has not yet been dwelled in by any contemplative, priest, or anyone at all in human form. May the Blessed One be the first to use it. When the Blessed One has used it first, the Kapilavatthu Sakyans will use it afterwards. That will be for their long-term welfare and happiness."

The Blessed One acquiesced with silence. Sensing his acquiescence, the Kapilavatthu Sakyans got up from their seats, bowed down to him, circumambulated him, and then went to the new reception hall. On arrival, they spread it all over with felt rugs, arranged seats, set out a water vessel, and raised an oil lamp. Then they went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down, stood to one side. As they were standing there they said to him, "Lord, the reception hall has been covered all over with felt rugs, seats have been arranged, a water vessel has been set out, and an oil lamp raised. It is now time for the Blessed One to do as he sees fit."

So the Blessed One, putting on his robe and taking up his bowl and outer robe, went together with a community of monks to the reception hall. On arrival he washed his feet, entered the hall, and sat with his back to the central post, facing east. The community of monks washed their feet, entered the hall, and sat with their backs to the western wall, facing east, ranged around the Blessed One. The Kapilavatthu Sakyans washed their feet, entered the hall, and sat with their backs to the eastern wall, facing west, ranged around the Blessed One. Then the Blessed One — having spent most of the night instructing, urging, rousing, and encouraging the Kapilavatthu Sakyans with a Dhamma talk -- dismissed them, saying, "The night is far past, Gotamas. Do what you now think it is time to do."

Responding, "As you say, lord," the Kapilavatthu Sakyans rose from their seats, bowed down to the Blessed One, and — circumambulating him, keeping him to their right — departed.

Then not long after the Kapilavatthu Sakyans had left, the Blessed One addressed Ven. Maha Moggallana: "Moggallana, the community of monks is free of drowsiness. Give them a Dhamma talk of your own devising. My back aches. I will rest it."

Ven. Maha Moggallana responded, "As you say, lord."

Then the Blessed One, having arranged his outer robe folded in four, lay down on his right side in the lion's sleeping posture, with one foot on top of the other, mindful and alert, having made a mental note to get up.

Then Ven. Maha Moggallana addressed the monks, "Friend monks!"

"Yes, friend," the monks responded.

Ven. Maha Moggallana said, "Friends, I will teach you a discourse on being soggy and a discourse on not being soggy.[2] Listen and pay careful attention. I will speak."

"As you say, friend," the monks replied.

Ven. Maha Moggallana said, "And how is one soggy? There is the case where a monk, when seeing a form via the eye, is, in the case of pleasing forms, committed to forms and, in the case of displeasing forms, afflicted by forms. He remains with body-mindfulness not present, and with limited awareness. And he does not discern, as it actually is present, the awareness-release and discernment-release where those evil, unskillful qualities that have arisen cease without trace.

"When hearing a sound via the ear ...

"When smelling an aroma via the nose...

"When tasting a flavor via the tongue...

"When touching a tactile sensation via the body...

"When cognizing an idea via the intellect, he is, in the case of pleasing ideas, committed to ideas and, in the case of displeasing ideas, afflicted by ideas. He remains with body-mindfulness not present, and with limited awareness. And he does not discern, as it actually is present, the awareness-release and discernment-release where those evil, unskillful qualities that have arisen cease without trace.

"This is called a monk who is soggy with forms cognizable via the eye, soggy with sounds cognizable via the ear, soggy with aromas cognizable via the nose, soggy with flavors cognizable via the tongue, soggy with tactile sensations cognizable via the body, soggy with ideas cognizable via the intellect.

"When a monk dwells in this way, then if Mara comes to him via the eye, Mara gains entry, Mara gains a foothold. If Mara comes to him via the ear... nose... tongue... body... intellect, Mara gains entry, Mara gains a foothold. Just as if there were a shack made of reeds or a shack made of grass — dry, desiccated, more than a year old -- and if a man were to come to it from the east with a burning grass torch, fire would gain entry, fire would gain a foothold. If a man were to come to it from the west... north... south... from below... from above... From whatever direction the man would come to it with a burning grass torch, fire would gain entry, fire would gain a foothold. In the same way, when a monk dwells in this way, then if Mara comes to him via the eye, Mara gains entry, Mara gains a foothold. If Mara comes to him via the ear... nose... tongue... body... intellect, Mara gains entry, Mara gains a foothold.

"And when a monk dwells in this way, forms overpower him. He does not overpower forms. Sounds overpower him... Aromas... Flavors... Tactile sensations... Ideas overpower him. He does not overpower ideas. This is called a monk overpowered by forms, overpowered by sounds, overpowered by aromas, overpowered by flavors, overpowered by tactile sensations, overpowered by ideas -- one overpowered who does not overpower. He is overpowered by evil, unskillful qualities that defile, that lead to further becoming, that are miserable, that result in suffering and stress, that tend toward future birth, aging, and death.

"It's in this way, friends, that one is soggy.

"And how is one not soggy? There is the case where a monk, when seeing a form via the eye, is not, in the case of pleasing forms, committed to forms nor, in the case of displeasing forms, afflicted by forms. He remains with body-mindfulness present, and with immeasurable awareness. And he discerns, as it actually is present, the awareness-release and discernment-release where those evil, unskillful qualities that have arisen cease without trace.

"When hearing a sound via the ear ...

"When smelling an aroma via the nose...

"When tasting a flavor via the tongue...

"When touching a tactile sensation via the body...

"When cognizing an idea via the intellect, he is not, in the case of pleasing ideas, committed to ideas nor, in the case of displeasing ideas, afflicted by ideas. He remains with body-mindfulness present, and with immeasurable awareness. And he discerns, as it actually is present, the awareness-release and discernment-release where those evil, unskillful qualities that have arisen cease without trace.

"This is called a monk who is not soggy with forms cognizable via the eye, not soggy with sounds cognizable via the ear, not soggy with aromas cognizable via the nose, not soggy with flavors cognizable via the tongue, not soggy with tactile sensations cognizable via the body, not soggy with ideas cognizable via the intellect.

"When a monk dwells in this way, then if Mara comes to him via the eye, Mara gains no entry, Mara gains no foothold. If Mara comes to him via the ear... nose... tongue... body... intellect, Mara gains no entry, Mara gains no foothold. Just as if there were a peaked house or hall thickly plastered with fine clay, and if a man were to come to it from the east with a burning grass torch, fire would gain no entry, fire would gain no foothold. If a man were to come to it from the west... north... south... from below... from above... From whatever direction the man would come to it with a burning grass torch, fire would gain no entry, fire would gain no foothold. In the same way, when a monk dwells in this way, then if Mara comes to him via the eye, Mara gains no entry, Mara gains no foothold. If Mara comes to him via the ear... nose... tongue... body... intellect, Mara gains no entry, Mara gains no foothold.

"And when a monk dwells in this way, he overpowers forms. Forms do not overpower him. He overpowers sounds... aromas... flavors... tactile sensations... ideas. Ideas do not overpower him. This is called a monk who overpowers forms, overpowers sounds, overpowers aromas, overpowers flavors, overpowers tactile sensations, overpowers ideas — one who overpowers and is not overpowered. He overpowers evil, unskillful qualities that defile, that lead to further becoming, that are miserable, that result in suffering and stress, that tend toward future birth, aging, and death.

"It's in this way, friends, that one is not soggy."

Then the Blessed One got up and said to Ven. Maha Moggallana, "Good, good, Moggallana. What you have said to the monks about the discourse on being soggy and the discourse on not being soggy is good."

That is what Ven. Maha Moggallana said, and the Teacher approved. Gratified, the monks delighted in Ven. Maha Moggallana's words.

 


[1] According to the Commentary, this was a hall built to receive royal guests, together with their entourages.

[2] The word for "soggy" or "leaking" (avassuta) can also mean defiled. For a similar usage, see the verse to Ud V.5.

 


 

References:

See also: MN 53; MN 119; AN III.105.

 


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