Anguttara Nikaya


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Aŋguttaranikāyo
Catukkanipāto
X: Asura Vagga

The Numbers Bag
The Book of Fours
Chapter X: Monsters

Sutta 94

Tatiya Samādhi Suttaṃ

The Third Serenity

Translated from the Pali by Michael Olds

 


 

[1][pts][than] I HEAR TELL:

Once upon a time the Lucky man, Sāvatthī-town revisiting.

There Bhagava said:

"There are, beggars, four persons discovered in this world.

What four?

Here, beggars, there is one who has gained
centered internal calm[1],
but not gained insight into things of higher wisdom[2].

Here, beggars, there is one who has gained
insight into things of higher wisdom
but not gained centered internal calm.

Here, beggars, there is one who has gained
neither centered internal calm
nor insight into things of higher wisdom.

Here, beggars, there is one who has gained
both centered internal calm
and insight into things of higher wisdom

These, beggars are four persons discovered in this world.

 


 

As to this, beggars, that person who has gained
centered internal calm
but not gained insight into things of higher wisdom —
he, approaching a person who has gained
insight into things of higher wisdom,
should ask:

'How should there be, friend, the seeing of own-making?[3]

How should there be mastery[4] of own-making?

How should there be insight[5] into own-making?'

He, responding to such —
as he has seen,
as he has discovered —
says:

'Thus, then, friend, own-making is to be seen;
thus should there be mastery of own-making,
thus should there be insight into own-making.'

He, some time later, gains centered internal calm
and gains insight into things of higher wisdom.

 


 

As to this, beggars, that person who has gained
insight into things of higher wisdom
but not centered internal calm —
he, approaching a person who has gained
centered internal calm,
should ask:

'How now then friend, should the heart be steadied?[6]

How should the heart be settled down?[7]

How should the heart be focused?[8]

How should the heart be made serene?'[9]

He, responding to such —
as he has seen,
as he has discovered —
says:

'Thus, then, friend, should the heart be steadied,
thus should the heart be settled down,
thus should the heart be focused,
thus should the heart be made serene.'

He, some time later, gains centered internal calm
and gains insight into things of higher wisdom.

 


 

As to this, beggars, that person who has gained
neither centered internal calm
nor gained insight into things of higher wisdom —
he, approaching a person who has gained
both the centered internal calm
and insight into things of higher wisdom,
should ask:

'How now then friend, should the heart be steadied?

How should the heart be settled down?

How should the heart be focused?

How should the heart be made serene?

How should there be the seeing of own-making?

How should there be mastery of own-making?

How should there be insight into own-making?'[10]

He, responding to such —
as he has seen,
as he has discovered —
says:

'Thus, then, friend, should the heart be steadied,
thus should the heart be settled down,
thus should the heart be focused,
thus should the heart be made serene
thus own-making is to be seen;
thus should there be mastery of own-making,
thus should there be insight into own-making.'

He, some time later, gains centered internal calm
and gains insight into things of higher wisdom.

 


 

As to this, beggars, that person who has gained
both centered internal calm
and gained insight into things of higher wisdom —
such a one, beggars, reinforcing these skillful things
going higher should dedicate himself
to the destruction of the corrupting influences."[11]

 


[1] Ajjhattaṃ ceto-samathassa. Internal heart-calmness. Heart is not the organ, though it is the organ, it is the central part. The hearth. We say 'peace of mind'. This is peace of mind that is alert and focused.

[2] Adhipaññā-dhamma-vipassanāya. Say: Higher-wisdom-things-insight.

[3] Saŋkhārā daṭṭhabbā. Seeing that things are constructed by one's self. Note that with identification with the intent to create experience for the self there are acts of body, speech and mind which bring consequences which are experienced in accordance with the intent to make that experience pleasant or unpleasant or to create the end of sense experience (kamma). This is not the idea 'The world is created by me' or 'the world is created by the self', but the idea that the world is created by actions.

[4] Saŋkhārā sammasitabbā. Own making is to be mastered much as any bad habit is mastered, through a combination of insight into it's disadvantages, tactical approaches to restraint, and willpower.

[5] Saŋkhārā vipassitabbā. Insight into own-making is seeing that the own-made is of little satisfaction, of great trouble, and doesn't last; that identification with it brings pain on it's ending, and blindness to this reality results in repeating the story over and over until it is mastered.

[6] Cittaṃ saṇṭhapetabbaṃ. Another word for courage. Having the heart for the task. Putting your heart into it.

[7] Cittaṃ sannisādetabbaṃ. When the heart has accepted the task there remains excitement which is an unnecessary distraction so the next step is stilling, calming, tranquillizing the heart. Steady-as-she-goes. Strong but not noticed.

[8] Cittaṃ ekodi kattabbaṃ. Ekodi. Eka+Odhi Single-, uni-purposed. Focused, concentrated in the sense of intent on an aim. See: Morris J.P.T.S. 1885, 32 sq. Often translated as Woodward here 'one-pointed' Bhk. Bodhi here has 'unified'. The point, for me is that it is this word that should be being translated 'concentration' if any word is to be so translated, and Samādhi and Jhāna should be translated with terms closer to their root meanings: serenity and knowing or brilliance. Ekodi is an aspect of samādhi, samādhi is of greater scope than concentration by itself. The meaning is our expression: 'Single-minded' (in it's good sense). It means to take the heart in hand and eliminate it's tendency to run off in a thousand directions and set it on the purpose of attaining freedom from pain. To become 'whole-heartedly-single-minded.' But for 'whole-hearted' see: AN 4.114, where we find the expression sabbacetaso whole-hearted

[9] Cittaṃ samādahātabbaṃ. Serene. Really rolling, on top of the situation, clear sailing.

[10] Note the order in which the questions are to be asked. Note the order in which the four types of persons are listed. This suggests that the practice of the time was to first develop centered internal calm and then insight. See also SN 5.56.1 for the idea that first comes calm, then understanding.

[11] Āsavas. The corrupting influence of lust, being, blindness and viewpoints.

 


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