Anguttara Nikaya


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Aŋguttara Nikāya
VIII. Aṭṭhaka Nipāta
III: Gahapati-Vagga

Sutta 30

Anuruddha Suttaɱ

Anuruddha
or
The Eight Thoughts of a Great Man

Translated from the Pali by Michael Olds

 


[228]

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

Once upon a time The Lucky Man,
Bhagga-land revisiting,
Crock-mount,
the Deer-Park of Medicine-man's-woods
while also at that time the Elder Anuruddha was residing among the Cetis,
in Eastern Bamboo Woods.

There then in the private reflections of Elder Anuruddho
there arose in his heart these thoughts:

"A thing[1] for those who are of small[2] wishes, this is,
not a thing for those of great wishes.

A thing for those who are contented, this is,
[229] not a thing for those of discontentment.

A thing for those who are retiring, this is,
not a thing for those who take pleasure in community.

A thing for those who seize at energy, this is,
not a thing for those who are cozy.

A thing for those who have set up mind, this is,
not a thing for those who are absent-minded.

A thing for those who are serene, this is,
not a thing for those who are not serene.

A thing for the wise, this is,
not a thing for the stupid."

 


 

2. There then The Lucky Man,
knowing by his heart the thoughts
in the heart of the elder Anuruddha,
like a strong man stretching out his bent arm,
or bending back his outstretched arm,
vanishing from Bhagga-land, Crock-mount,
the Deer-Park of Medicine-man's-woods,
reappearing in Ceti-land, Eastern Bamboo Woods
facing the elder Anuruddha,
sat down on the appointed seat.

And then the Elder Anuruddha saluted and took a seat to one side.[3]

Then the Luck Man said this to the elder Anuruddha seated to one side:

3. "Well done Anuruddha!

Well have you, Anuruddha,
thought the seven thoughts of the great man:

A thing for those who are of small wishes, this is,
not a thing for those of great wishes.

A thing for those who are contented, this is,
not a thing for those of discontentment.

A thing for those who are retiring, this is,
not a thing for those who take pleasure in community.

A thing for those who seize at energy, this is,
not a thing for those who are cozy.

A thing for those who have set up mind, this is,
not a thing for those who are absent-minded.

A thing for those who are serene, this is,
not a thing for those who are not serene.

A thing for the wise, this is,
not a thing for the stupid.

From there Anuruddha,
think over this eighth thought of a great man:

A thing for the undistracted, this is,
for one loving the undistracted,
not a thing for the distracted,
for one loving distractions.

4. From, Anuruddha, your thinking over these eight thoughts of the great man,
proceed Anuruddha,
as long as you are thus without doubt[4]
thus separated from sensual pleasures,
separated from unskillful things,
[230] with thinking,
with pondering solitude-born entheusiastic pleasure —
to enter into and habituate
the first burning knowledge.

5. From, Anuruddha, your thinking over these eight thoughts of the great man,
proceed Anuruddha,
as long as you are thus without doubt —
thinking and pondering fading away
internally composed,
whole-heartedly single-minded,
without thinking
without pondering serenity-born entheusiastic pleasure —
to enter into and habituate
the second burning knowledge.

6. From, Anuruddha, your thinking over these eight thoughts of the great man,
proceed Anuruddha,
as long as you are thus without doubt —
entheusiasm fading away
living detached,
mindful,
and self-aware,
experiencing in the body that pleasure
which the Aristocrats describe as:
'The mind's detached sweet-abiding' —
to enter into and habituate
the third burning knowledge.

7. From, Anuruddha, your thinking over these eight thoughts of the great man,
proceed Anuruddha,
as long as you are thus without doubt —
letting go pleasure,
letting go pain,
thus earlier ease and discomfort settling down,
without pain or pleasure,
the detached mind thoroughly purified —
to enter into and habituate
the fourth burning knowledge.

8. From, Anuruddha, your thinking over these eight thoughts of the great man,
and these four completely heart-felt burning knowledges,
abidings in pleasure in this seen thing,
come gained enjoyably,
gained without stress,
gained without difficulty,
it follows that for you Anuruddha
that in the same way as a householder
or householder's son
with his garment-chest full of multi-colored garments
abides pleasantly
even so your dust-rag cast-off robe
will appear to be as liked,
for non-discomfort,
for comfortable living,
for entering Nibbāna.

9. [231] From, Anuruddha, your thinking over these eight thoughts of the great man,
and these four completely heart-felt burning knowledges,
abidings in pleasure in this seen thing,
come gained enjoyably,
gained without stress,
gained without difficulty,
it follows that for you Anuruddha
that in the same way as a householder
or householder's son
with his many-sauced,
many condemented,
black-grains-removed fine milk-rice
abides pleasantly,
even so your doled-out food-lumps
will appear to be as liked,
for non-discomfort,
for comfortable living,
for entering Nibbāna.

10. From, Anuruddha, your thinking over these eight thoughts of the great man,
and these four completely heart-felt burning knowledges,
abidings in pleasure in this seen thing,
come gained enjoyably,
gained without stress,
gained without difficulty,
it follows that for you Anuruddha
that in the same way as a householder
or householder's son
with his plastered inside and out,
draft-free,
bolted-doored,
closable-windowed,
peaked-roof house,
abides pleasantly,
even so your tree-root-sleep-and-sitting place
will appear to be as liked,
for non-discomfort,
for comfortable living,
for entering Nibbāna.

11. From, Anuruddha, your thinking over these eight thoughts of the great man,
and these four completely heart-felt burning knowledges,
abidings in pleasure in this seen thing,
come gained enjoyably,
gained without stress,
gained without difficulty,
it follows that for you Anuruddha
that in the same way as a householder
or householder's son
with his leather-covered,
wollen-comforter-covered,
excellently-made antelope-coverlet-covered
both-ends-red-pillowed
canopy-covered bed-seat
abides pleasantly
even so your horned-oat sleep-and-sitting mat
will appear to be as liked,
for non-discomfort,
for comfortable living,
for entering Nibbāna.

[232] 12. From, Anuruddha, your thinking over these eight thoughts of the great man,
and these four completely heart-felt burning knowledges,
abidings in pleasure in this seen thing,
come gained enjoyably,
gained without stress,
gained without difficulty,
it follows that for you Anuruddha
that in the same way as a householder
or householder's son
with his various medicines,
such as: ghee, butter, sesame oil, honey, raw sugar;
abides pleasantly
even so your medicine of fermented-urine[5]
will appear to be as liked,
for non-discomfort,
for comfortable living,
for entering Nibbāna.

This indeed being so, Anuruddha,
you should reside just this coming rainy-season
here among the Cetis,
in Eastern Bamboo Woods."

"Even so bhante" replied the elder Anuruddha to the Lucky Man.

13. There then The Lucky Man,
like a strong man stretching out his bent arm,
or bending back his outstretched arm,
vanishing from Ceti-land, Eastern Bamboo Woods,
reappearing in Bhagga-land, Crock-mount,
the Deer-Park of Medicine-man's-woods
sat down on the appointed seat.

 


 

So seated then, the Lucky Man addressed the beggars:

14. "I will teach you, beggars,
the Eight thoughts of a Great Man.

Give ear!

Give your mind over to studious attention!

I will speak!"

And the beggars responding:
"Even so, bhante!"
Bhagava said:

"And what, beggars, are the eight thoughts of a great man?

15. A thing for those who are of small wishes, this is,
not a thing for those of great wishes.

A thing for those who are contented, this is,
not a thing for those of discontentment.

A thing for those who are retiring, this is,
not a thing for those who take pleasure in community.

A thing for those who seize at energy, this is,
not a thing for those who are cozy.

A thing for those who have set up mind, this is,
not a thing for those who are absent-minded.

A thing for those who are serene, this is,
not a thing for those who are not serene.

A thing for the wise, this is,
[233] not a thing for the stupid.

A thing for the undistracted, this is,
for one loving the undistracted,
not a thing for the distracted,
for one loving distractions.

 


 

16. 'A thing for those who are of small wishes, this is,
not a thing for those of great wishes.'

This then is the saying.

And what is the elaboration[6] of this saying?

17. Here, beggars, a beggar being of small wishes,
does not wish: 'let it be said of me "he is of small wishes,"
being contented,
does not wish: 'let it be said of me "he is contented,"
being retiring,
does not wish: 'let it be said of me "he is retiring,"
being one who seizes at energy,
does not wish: 'let it be said of me "he is one who seizes at energy,"
being present-minded,
does not wish: 'let it be said of me "he is present-minded,"
being serene,
does not wish: 'let it be said of me "he is serene,"
being wise,
does not wish: 'let it be said of me "he is wise,"
being undistracted,
does not wish: 'let it be said of me "he is undistracted."

'A thing for those who are of small wishes, this is,
not a thing for those of great wishes.'

This is the saying

This is the elaboration of the saying.

18. 'A thing for those who are contented, this is,
not a thing for those of discontentment.'

This then is the saying.

And what is the elaboration of this saying?

19. Here, beggars, a beggar is contented
with whatever is essential
of robes,
dole-food,
residence,
medicines for illness.

'A thing for those who are contented, this is,
not a thing for those of discontentment.'

This is the saying

This is the elaboration of the saying.

20. 'A thing for those who are retiring, this is,
not a thing for those who take pleasure in community.'

This then is the saying.

And what is the elaboration of this saying?

21. Here beggars, a beggar who has become one who lives secluded
is visited by beggars,
female beggars,
laymen,
laywomen,
kings,
king's ministers,
gurus[7],
guru's disciples.

Thereat a beggar, with his heart
set on bringing on seclusion,
sloaping towards seclusion,
inclining towards seclusion,
established in seclusion,
fond of renunciation
speaks exclusively of enjoyment
of the inspiration-resulting connected.[8]

'A thing for those who are retiring, this is,
not a thing for those who take pleasure in community.'

This is the saying

This is the elaboration of the saying.

22. 'A thing for those who seize at energy, this is,
not a thing for those who are cozy.'

This then is the saying.

And what is the elaboration of this saying?

23. Here beggars, a beggar lives seizing energy,
letting go unskillful things,
taking up skillful things,
making his own way,
steadfast,
strong in energy,
not putting down but enduring[9] in skillful things.

'A thing for those who seize at energy, this is,
not a thing for those who are cozy.'

This is the saying

This is the elaboration of the saying.

24. 'A thing for those who have set up mind, this is,
not a thing for those who are absent-minded.'

This then is the saying.

And what is the elaboration of this saying?

25. Here beggars, a beggar has supreme mind-mastery of mind
able to follow the recollection
of just this long-past deed,
just this long-past saying.[10]

'A thing for those who have set up mind, this is,
not a thing for those who are absent-minded.'

This is the saying

This is the elaboration of the saying.

26. 'A thing for those who are serene, this is,
not a thing for those who are not serene.'

This then is the saying.

And what is the elaboration of this saying?

27. Here beggars a beggar separating from sense-pleasures,
separating from unskillful things,
with thinking
with pondering solitude-born pleasurable entheusiasm,
enters into and habituates
the first burning knowledge;

Thinking and pondering fading,
internally self-composed,
whole-heartedly single-minded,
without thinking,
without pondering solitude-born pleasurable entheusiasm,
enters into and habituates
the second burning knowledge;

Enthusiasm fading and habituating detachment,
and minding and self-aware,
experiencing in the body that pleasure
which the Aristocrats describe as:
'The mind's detached sweet-abiding' —
enters into and habituates
the third burning knowledge;

Letting go pleasure,
letting go pain,
thus earlier ease and discomfort settling down,
without pain or pleasure,
the detached mind thoroughly purified —
to enter into and habituate
the fourth burning knowledge.

'A thing for those who are serene, this is,
not a thing for those who are not serene.'

This is the saying

This is the elaboration of the saying.

28. 'A thing for the wise, this is,
not a thing for the stupid.'

This then is the saying.

And what is the elaboration of this saying?

29. Here beggars, a beggar has wisdom,
is wise as to final out-comes
possessed of Aristocratic penetration
into the ultimate departure
of the whole body of pain.

'A thing for the wise, this is,
not a thing for the stupid.'

This is the saying

This is the elaboration of the saying.

[235] 30. 'A thing for the undistracted, this is,
for one loving the undistracted,
not a thing for the distracted,
for one loving distractions.'

This then is the saying.

And what is the elaboration of this saying?

31. Here beggars, a beggar's heart
leaps up,
brightens up,
frees up
at distraction's-ending.

'A thing for the undistracted, this is,
for one loving the undistracted,
not a thing for the distracted,
for one loving distractions.'

This is the saying

This is the elaboration of the saying.

 


 

There then the elder Anuruddha,
spent the rains among the Cetis,
in Eastern Bamboo Woods.

And the elder Anuruddha,
living alone, secluded, careful, ardent, taking a stand,
not long thence,
entered into and abided in
that higher knowledge
for which clans' sons,
and rightly so,
depart the household life for homelessness,
and in this seen thing,
seeing for himself,
with higher knowledge knew:

'Left behind is birth,
lived is the best of lives,
duty's doings done,
no further it'n-n-at'n' for me!"

And the elder Anuruddho became another of the Arahants.

There then, the elder Anuruddho,
shortly after attaining arahantship,
uttered these verses:

My own good[11] knowing,
the world's Master unsurpassed,
to me by magic mind-made body did appear

As, from my own-good,
to add thereto the thought:
'For he who loves the undistracted,
the Buddha undistraction taught.'

And in this loved instruction,
I abided, comprehending, 'til
three-vision fueled,
I'd the Buddha's teaching's done.

 


[1] Dhamma. 'Form' in accordance with the practice of this system.

[2] Not 'few' as per Bhk. Bodhi. Bhk. Thanissaro has the sense, but his 'modest' and 'self-aggrandizing' is an explanation, not a translation. Hare's translation is closer but all miss the fact that the meaning is defined below when the Buddha gives as examples: A small wish is one which is focused on one's own attainments, a great wish is one which is focused on fame for such attainment. And 'iccha' is better as 'wish'. We have too many words being translated 'desire.'!

[3] It was not polite to sit directly in front of someone: "to confront." The seat should be close enough to allow touching with the outstretched arm.

[4] Ākaŋkhi. not doubting, without doubt. Bhk. Bodhi: 'as much as you wish'; Hare: 'you may, an [if] you will'; Bhk. Thanissaro: 'whenever you want'. There is a secondary meaning of Kaŋkha meaning to wish, but that would make the meaning 'to not wish to' or any time you didn't wish to. I don't see how any of these translations are arrived at. But what is the meaning of "yāva-d-eva ākaŋkhissasi' 'as long as you are thus without doubt'? I suggest it means that as long as one is coasting along on these eight thoughts without doubt as to their soundness one is in such a state of confidence that higher states of consciousness are easily attained, but that the opposite is also true, that when such a state of confidence is lacking, attaining these higher states will be difficult.

[5] Pūtimutta. Putrid-urine. Amonia. Usually from cows.

[6] Paṭicca. This use sheds light on the intended meaning in the Paticca Samuppada. Essentially 'a thing resulting from.'

[7] Titthiyā. To define one Pali word with another that happens to be current here. It means one who sets up satisfaction in others, or one who guides others across, but was understood to mean teachers of other disciplines.

[8] aññadatthu uyyojanika-paṭisaɱyuttaɱ yeva kathaɱ kattā hoti. A controversial line centering on the two possible meanings of 'uyyojanika': 'uyyo: ud+ya + jati' 'up-whatever jump (born this)'; PED: 1. to instigate, and 2. to dismiss or take leave. I am here opting for the more compassionate view. However, from experience, talk about giving up, renunciation, etc. inveriably results in people loosing interest and taking leave with the result that one quickly finds the desired solitude. Bhk. Bodhi: 'entirely confines his talk to the subject of going apart.' Hare: 'a talk invariably concerned with dismissing them'; Bhk. Thanissaro: 'he converses with them only as much is necessary for them to take their leave'

[9] Anikkhittadhuro. Really: Not-putting down-yoke.

[10] Deeper, I think, than my/the usual: "remembers things said and done long ago". It means to be able, as well as to remember, to follow, placing in context, a thought that is recollected. One of the criteria considered in recognizing growth in a person is whether or not they are able to explain their past movements as well as simply remembering them. "I did this because I was thinking this way, had this feeling resulting from this contact, etc."

[11] Saŋkappa. Not 'vitakka' as in the sutta. saŋ: own-; kappa: fit and proppa. I usually translate "principles." Others usually translate 'intentions', 'aims.' Sammā Saŋkappa is to abstain from taking a deviant path; to abstain from inflicting mental pain; and to abstain from inflicting physical pain = violence. Principles. Things that are fit and proper for one who is following the Four Truths, or "High View."


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