Anguttara Nikaya


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Anguttara Nikāya
Pañcaka Nipāta
7. Saññā Vagga

The Numbers Bag
The Book of Fives

Sutta 69

Extreme Satisfaction

Translated from the Pali by Michael Olds

 


 

[1][pts] I HEAR TELL:

Once upon a time Bhagava, Savatthi-town, Anathapindika's Park, came-a revisiting. There, to the Beggars gathered round, he said:

Beggars!

And: "Broke Tooth!" the Beggars gathered round responded.

Then Bhagava said:

"Beggars! These five things when made become, when made a big deal of, result in extreme satisfaction, dispassion, ending, settling down, higher knowledge, self-awakening, Nibbāna.

What five?

Here a Beggar lives seeing the impure[1] nature of the body;
the disgusting nature of food,
perceiving nothing to delight in in all the world,
sees the impermanent nature of all own-made things,
and perceiving that death applies to the internal.[2]

Beggars! These five things when made become, when made a big deal of, result in extrame satisfaction[3], dispassion, ending, settling down, higher knowledge, self-awakening, Nibbāna.

 


[1] This is not a word with moral connotations in this use. It means something like physically dirty. "The intestines of a 50 year old man, beggars, look like a sewer that has not been cleaned in 50 years."

[2] The final phrase: maranasanna kho pan'assa ajjhattam supatthita hoti, translated by Hare: "...and the thought of death is by him inwardly well established," accords with the usual understanding. My interpretation is that this term "ajjhattam" is used to avoid the term "his own" or "own" "personal". But here it may have lead to a misunderstanding of the intent which I believe is the fact that one has come to see that "My own body" too will die, has not risen above that state, is subject to such an end as that. See: Satipatthana, Charnal Ground.

[3] Extreme Satisfaction is ekantanibbidaya. I assume most translators avoid the acceptable translation of this term as satisfaction for the reason that that word is most often heard in an exactly wrong way. Here the intended meaning is "having had enough" fed up. The difficulty with the word used by Hare and others (probably also myself!), "disgust" is that it is often heard in a way that reflects a non-Buddhist state of mind — "disgust" when understood as an active disliking — and the goal must taste of indifference, upekha, objective detachment; the reader should when coming across "disgust" in translations hear this as "an absense of taste for, an absense of gusto.

 


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