Anguttara Nikaya


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Anguttara Nikāya
Ekādasako Nipāto

The Numbers Bag
The Book of Elevens

Sutta 7

Saññāmanasikārā suttaṃ

A Study in Perception

Translated from the Pali by Michael Olds

 


 

[1] [pts] I HEAR TELL:

Once upon a time, Bhagava, Sāvatthī-town residing, Jeta Woods, Anāthapiṇḍika's Park.[1]

Then Old-man[2] Ānanda came to Bhagava, drawing near.
Drawing near and giving salutation,
he took a seat to one side.
Having taken a seat to one side
he asked this of The Lucky Man:

Now is it, then, bhante,
that a beggar acquires
such a form of focus —
that he is not, even in the midst of earth,
percepient of earth,
nor is he, in the midst of water,
percepient of water,
nor in the midst of firelight,
percepient of firelight,
nor in the midst of wind,
percepient of wind,
nor in the midst of The Realm Space,
percepient of The Realm Space,
nor in the midst of The Realm Consciousness,
percepient of The Realm Consciousness,
nor in the midst of The Realm No-Things-There,
percepient of The Realm No-Things-There,
nor in the midst of The Realm of Neither Perception nor Non-Perception,
percepient of The Realm of Neither Perception nor Non-Perception,
nor in the midst of This world,
percepient of This world,
nor in the midst of The World Beyond,
percepient of The World Beyond,
nor in the midst of The Seen, Heard, Sensed, Known,
percepient of The Seen, Heard, Sensed, Known,
nor in the midst of the attained,
the saught-after,
the explored in mind,
percepient of the attained,
the saught-after,
the explored in mind
— that of such he has no perception
and yet he is perceiving?

[2] [pts] It is, Ānanda,
that a beggar acquires such a form of focus —
that he is not, even in the midst of earth,
percepient of earth,
nor is he, in the midst of water,
percepient of water,
nor in the midst of firelight,
percepient of firelight,
nor in the midst of wind,
percepient of wind,
nor in the midst of The Realm Space,
percepient of The Realm Space,
nor in the midst of The Realm Consciousness,
percepient of The Realm Consciousness,
nor in the midst of The Realm No-Things-There,
percepient of The Realm No-Things-There,
nor in the midst of The Realm of Neither Perception nor Non-Perception,
percepient of The Realm of Neither Perception nor Non-Perception,
nor in the midst of This world,
percepient of This world,
nor in the midst of The World Beyond,
percepient of The World Beyond,
nor in the midst of The Seen, Heard, Sensed, Known,
percepient of The Seen, Heard, Sensed, Known,
nor in the midst of the attained,
the saught-after,
the explored in mind,
percepient of the attained,
the saught-after,
the explored in mind
— that of such he has no perception
and yet he is perceiving.

[3] [pts] But just how, bhante, is it
that a beggar acquires such a form of focus —
that he is not, even in the midst of earth,
percepient of earth,
nor is he, in the midst of water,
percepient of water,
nor in the midst of firelight,
percepient of firelight,
nor in the midst of wind,
percepient of wind,
nor in the midst of The Realm Space,
percepient of The Realm Space,
nor in the midst of The Realm Consciousness,
percepient of The Realm Consciousness,
nor in the midst of The Realm No-Things-There,
percepient of The Realm No-Things-There,
nor in the midst of The Realm of Neither Perception nor Non-Perception,
percepient of The Realm of Neither Perception nor Non-Perception,
nor in the midst of This world,
percepient of This world,
nor in the midst of The World Beyond,
percepient of The World Beyond,
nor in the midst of The Seen, Heard, Sensed, Known,
percepient of The Seen, Heard, Sensed, Known,
nor in the midst of the attained,
the saught-after,
the explored in mind,
percepient of the attained,
the saught-after,
the explored in mind
— that of such he has no perception
and yet he is perceiving?

[4] [pts] Here Ānanda, a beggar has this perception:

'This is it!
This is the culmination!
That is, the calming of all own-making,
the resolution of all involvements,
the withering away of thirst,
dispassion,
extinction,
Nibbāna.'

It is thus, Ānanda,
that a beggar acquires such a form of focus —
that he is not, even in the midst of earth,
percepient of earth,
nor is he, in the midst of water,
percepient of water,
nor in the midst of firelight,
percepient of firelight,
nor in the midst of wind,
percepient of wind,
nor in the midst of The Realm Space,
percepient of The Realm Space,
nor in the midst of The Realm Consciousness,
percepient of The Realm Consciousness,
nor in the midst of The Realm No-Things-There,
percepient of The Realm No-Things-There,
nor in the midst of The Realm of Neither Perception nor Non-Perception,
percepient of The Realm of Neither Perception nor Non-Perception,
nor in the midst of This world,
percepient of This world,
nor in the midst of The World Beyond,
percepient of The World Beyond,
nor in the midst of The Seen, Heard, Sensed, Known,
percepient of The Seen, Heard, Sensed, Known,
nor in the midst of the attained,
the saught-after,
the explored in mind,
percepient of the attained,
the saught-after,
the explored in mind
— that of such he has no perception
and yet he is perceiving.

 


[1] No nidana in text.

[2] Āyasmā. PED: 'Āyasmant (adj.) ... lit. old, i. e. venerable; used, either as adj. or absolute as a respectful appellation of a bhikkhu of some standing (cp. the semantically identical thera). ... See also āvuso.' [friend]

 


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