Aŋguttara Nikāya


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Aŋguttara Nikāya
Navaka Nipāta
Pañcāla Vagga

Sutta 51

Diṭṭha-Dhamma-Nibbānaɱ Suttaɱ

Nibbāna in this Seen Thing

Translated from the Pali
by
Michael M. Olds

 


 

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

Once upon a time The Ancient Ānanda,
Kosambī revisiting,
Ghosita park.

There the venerable Udāyin visited The Ancient Ānanda
and, after exchanging greetings and salutations,
sat down at one side.

Seated to one side then,
he said this to The Ancient Ānanda:

[2] "'Nibbāna in this seen thing!
Nibbāna in this seen thing!',[2] friend, so it is said.

To what extent then, friend,
has the Lucky Man spoken of
Nibbāna in this seen thing?"

[3] "Here, friend, a bhikkhu
isolating himself from sense pleasures,
isolating himself from unskillful things,
with thinking,
with pondering
isolation-born pleasureable-enthusiasm
rises up into and makes a habitat of
The First Burning Knowledge.

And whatever is whatever of that sphere
that is such as that
which he lives
touching with body
and understanding with wisdom.

To just this extent then friend,
is a circumstantial
Nibbāna in this seen thing
spoken of by the Lucky Man.[3]

[4] Again, friend, deeper than that,
a beggar,
desolving thought and pondering,
internally self-pacified,
become whole-heartedly single minded,
without thinking,
without pondering,
rises up into and makes a habitat of
The Second Burning Knowledge.

And whatever is whatever of that sphere
that is such as that which he lives touching with body
and understands with wisdom.

To just this extent then friend,
is a circumstantial
Nibbāna in this seen thing
spoken of by the Lucky Man.

[5] Again, friend, deeper than that,
a beggar,
with the vanishing of entheusiasm,
and living detached,
minding,
self-aware,
and pleased,
experiencing in his own body
that of which the Aristocrats speak
when they say:

'Detached, minding, he lives pleasantly'

rises up into and makes a habitat of
The Third Burning Knowledge.

And whatever is whatever of that sphere
that is such as that which he lives touching with body
and understands with wisdom.

To just this extent then friend,
is a circumstantial
Nibbāna in this seen thing
spoken of by the Lucky Man.

[6] Again, friend, deeper than that, a beggar,
letting go of pleasures,
letting go of pains,
settling down the anticedent mental ease and mental pain,
without pain, but without pleasure,
detached, recollected, surpassingly pure
rises up into and makes a habitat of
The Fourth Burning Knowledge.

And whatever is whatever of that sphere
that is such as that which he lives touching with body
and understands with wisdom.

To just this extent then friend,
is a circumstantial
Nibbāna in this seen thing
spoken of by the Lucky Man.

[7] Again, friend, deeper than that, a beggar,
passing beyond all perception of shape,
settling down perception of difference,
thinking:
'Endless Space'
he rises up into and makes a habitat of
the The Realm of Space.

And whatever is whatever of that sphere
that is such as that which he lives touching with body
and understands with wisdom.

To just this extent then friend,
is a circumstantial
Nibbāna in this seen thing
spoken of by the Lucky Man.

[8] Again, friend, deeper than that, a beggar,
settling down the whole of the Realm of Space,
thinking:
'Endless Consciousness'
he rises up into and makes a habitat of
the The Realm of Consciousness.

And whatever is whatever of that sphere
that is such as that which he lives touching with body
and understands with wisdom.

To just this extent then friend,
is a circumstantial
Nibbāna in this seen thing
spoken of by the Lucky Man.

[9] Again, friend, deeper than that, a beggar,
settling down the whole of the Realm of Consciousness,
thinking:
'There is nothing'
he rises up into and makes a habitat of
the The Realm of Nothing's Had There.

And whatever is whatever of that sphere
that is such as that which he lives touching with body
and understands with wisdom.

To just this extent then friend,
is a circumstantial
Nibbāna in this seen thing
spoken of by the Lucky Man.

[10] Again, friend, deeper than that, a beggar,
settling down the whole of the Realm of Nothing's Had There,
he rises up into and makes a habitat of
the The Realm of Neither-Perception-nor-Non-Perception.

And whatever is whatever of that sphere
that is such as that which he lives touching with body
and understands with wisdom.

To just this extent then friend,
is a circumstantial
Nibbāna in this seen thing
spoken of by the Lucky Man.

[11] Again, friend, deeper than that, a beggar,
settling down the whole of
The Realm of Neither-Perception-nor-Non-Perception,
he rises up into and makes a habitat of
the Ending of Perception and Sense-Experience.

And whatever is whatever of that sphere
that is such as that which he lives
touching with body
and seeing with wisdom
that he has thoroughly eradicated
the corrupting influences.

To just this extent then friend,
is a non-circumstantial[3]
Nibbāna in this seen thing
spoken of by the Lucky Man.

 


[1] The nidana is from Sutta 43.

[2] Diṭṭha-dhamma. The reality this way being more accurately expressed than: 'in the here and now' or 'in this very life'.

[3] Pariyāyena. To this extent has the Buddha spoken of a Nibbāna in this seen thing that is depentent on cercumstances. In other words it is temporary, subject to Time, subject to change or 'turning about'. The final instance (always dangerous to skip) shows the 'Timeless' achievement.
Hare: "in one particular";
Bhk. Bodhi: "in a provisional sense". I would say: "To the extent that what is experienced is seen as a result of letting go and not doing rather than as a thing that has been got, there is the experience of a taste of Nibbāna in this seen thing."

 


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