Digha Nikaya


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Dīgha Nikāya

The Longs Basket

Sutta 33

Saṅgīti Suttanta

The Compilation

Tens

Translated from the Pali by Michael Olds

 


 

There are, friends, ten-part Dhammas consummately taught by the Bhagava, that #1-Consummately-Awakened-One, an Arahant who knows and sees. In this situation, let us all gather together as one, undivided, so that this Best of Lives will stay on track and stand for a long time as a benefit to the many, as a pleasure for the many, out of compassion for the world, for the benefit and pleasure of gods and man.
What are these tens?

[10.01][pts][wp] Ten things giving protection:[1]
Here friends, a beggar has ethics, he lives self-controlled by the Pātimokkha-self-control, having arrived at conduct's pasture he sees the fearfulness in any measure of what should be shunned and stays on the seeker's course. It is, friends a beggar's ethics, his living self-controlled by the Pātimokkha-self-control, his having arrived at conduct's pasture seeing the fearfulness in any measure of what should be shunned that gives him protection.
Again, additionally friends, a beggar has heard much, retains what he has heard, has got down what he has heard of that dhamma, so helpful in the beginning, helpful in the middle, helpful in conclusion, that points out the surpassingly pure Brahma-Life with it's goal and with it's terms in complete congruity. It is this matter of being learned in Dhamma, his having got a grasp of it, his ablity to speak about it, his detached understanding of it, and his throrough penetration of it in theory that gives him protection.[2]
Again, additionally friends, a beggar is a helpful friend, a helpful companion, a helpful comrade. It is, friends, this beggar's being a helpful friend, a helpful companion, a helpful comrade that gives him protection.[3]
Again, additionally friends, a beggar is well-spoken and is possessed of forbearance making for gentleness, he is right handy at supervising. It is, friends, this beggars well-spokenness and possession of forebearance making for gentleness, his competence at supervising, that gives him protection.
Again, additionally friends, a beggar, whatever needs to be done with his fellow Brahma-farers, whether lofty or menial, at that he is handy, not lax, he is skilled in recollecting what needs to be done, and in all such matters is competant, willing and able. It is, friends, that this beggar, whatever needs to be done with his fellow Brahma-farers, whether lofty or menial, is at that, handy, not lax, skilled in recollecting what needs to be done, and in all such matters is competant, willing and able, that gives him protection.[4]
Again, additionally friends, a beggar takes pleasure in Dhamma, loves discussing, and derives great enjoyment from, higher dhamma, higher discipline. It is, friends, that this beggar takes pleasure in Dhamma, loves discussing, and derives great enjoyment from, higher dhamma, higher discipline that gives him protection.[5]
Again, additionally friends, a beggar is content with having the requisites: any sort of robes, handouts, sitting and sleeping place, remedy for sickness that may arise. It is, friends, that this beggar is content with having the requisites: any sort of robes, handouts, sitting and sleeping place, remedy for sickness that may arise that gives him protection.
Again, additionally friends, a beggar lives striving for the energy to let go of unskillful things, to acquire skillful things, steadfast, passionately holding on to, not throwing off the yoke to, skillful things. It is, friends, that that this beggar lives striving for the energy to let go of unskillful things, to acquire skillful things, steadfast, passionately holding on to, not throwing off the yoke to, skillful things, that gives him protection.
Again, additionally friends, a beggar lives with a far-reaching, discriminating mind, possessed of mastery over the calling to mind and remembering of the long-ago said and done. It is, friends, that this beggar lives with a far-reaching, discriminating mind, possessed of mastery over the calling to mind and remembering of the long-ago said and done, that gives him protection.
Again, additionally friends, a beggar is wise to what causes growth and termination, has possession of that Aristocratic wisdom that leads to the consummate ending of pain. It is, friends, that this beggar is wise to what causes growth and termination, has possession of that Aristocratic wisdom that leads to the consummate ending of pain, that gives him protection.

[10.02][pts][wp] Ten complete spheres:[6]
One recognizes the earth device above, below, across, as non-dual[7], unbounded.
One recognizes the water device above, below, across, non-dual, unbounded.
One recognizes the fire device above, below, across, non-dual, unbounded.
One recognizes the wind device above, below, across, non-dual, unbounded.
One recognizes the deep-blue device above, below, across, non-dual, unbounded.
One recognizes the golden-colored device above, below, across, non-dual, unbounded.
One recognizes the blood-read device above, below, across, non-dual, unbounded.
One recognizes the white device above, below, across, non-dual, unbounded.
One recognizes the space device above, below, across, non-dual, unbounded.
One recognizes the consciousness device above, below, across, non-dual, unbounded.

[10.03][pts][wp] Ten unskillful paths of action:[8]
Malicious destruction, taking the ungiven, misbegotten carnal lusts, lying speech, provocative speech, harsh speech, idle-lip-flapping, covetousness, anger, mistaken views.

[10.04][pts][wp] Ten skillful paths of action:[9]
Abstaining from malicious destruction, abstention from taking the ungiven, abstention from misbegotten carnal lusts, abstention from lying speech, abstention from provocative speech, abstention from harsh speech, abstention from idle-lip-flapping, non-covetousness, non-anger, high views.

[10.05][pts][wp] Ten Aristocratic Garbs:[10]
Here friends, a beggar has let go of five,
has control of six,
guards one,
calculates four,
separates individual truths,
annihilates wishes,
purifies his principles,
creates impassivity of body,
is well freed in mind,
is well freed in wisdom.
 
How, friends, has a beggar let go of five?[11] Here, friends, a beggar, has let go of pleasure-wishing, has let go of anger, has let go of lazy ways and inertia, has let go of fear and trembling, has let go of vascillation. Even so, friends, has a beggar let go of five.
How, friends, does a beggar have control of six?[12] Here, friends, a beggar seeing a material shape with the eye is neither pleased in mind nor upset in mind and he lives detached, mindful, self-aware. Here, friends, a beggar hearing a sound with the ear is neither pleased in mind nor upset in mind and he lives detached, mindful, self-aware. Here, friends, a beggar smelling a scent with the nose is neither pleased in mind nor upset in mind and he lives detached, mindful, self-aware. Here, friends, a beggar tasting a flavor with the tongue is neither pleased in mind nor upset in mind and he lives detached, mindful, self-aware. Here, friends, a beggar feeling a touch with the body is neither pleased in mind nor upset in mind and he lives detached, mindful, self-aware. Here, friends, a beggar conscious of a thought with the mind is neither pleased in mind nor upset in mind and he lives detached, mindful, self-aware. Even so, friends, does a beggar have control of six.
How, friends, does a beggar guard one? Here, friends, a beggar guards his mind by getting control of his intentions.[13] Even so, friends, does a beggar guard one.
How, friends, does a beggar calculate four?[14] Here, friends, a beggar figures a thing is to be gone after, a thing is to be endured, a thing is to be avoided, a thing is to be got rid of. Even so, friends, does a beggar calculate four.
How, friends, does a beggar separate individual truths?[15] Here, friends, a begar, however many there may be of ordinary shamen or brahmen or the number of their truths about separate individuality, from all those he has separated himself, he has thrust off, tossed away, abandoned, vomited them up and released them. Even so, friends, does a beggar separate individual truths.
How, friends, does a beggar annihilate wishes?[16] Here, friends, a beggar has let go of wishing for pleasures, has let go of wishing to become, has let go of wishing to live the Brahma-life. Even so, friends, does a beggar annihilate wishes.
How, friends, does a beggar purifiy his principles?[17] Here, friends, a beggar lets go of the pleasure principle, lets go of the anger principle, lets go of the injury principle. Even so, friends, does a beggar purify his principles.
How, friends, does a beggar create impassivity of body? Here, friends, a beggar lets go of pleasure, lets go of pain, allows his former mental ease and misery to subside, without pain, without pleasure, with an utterly pure and detached mind he enters into and makes a habitat of the Fourth Burning. Even so, friends, does a beggar create impassivity of body.
How, friends, does a beggar get well-freed in heart? Here, friends, a beggar is free from lustful thoughts, is free from hateful thoughts, is free from deluded thoughts. Even so, friends, does a beggar get well-freed heart.
How, friends, does a beggar get well-freed in wisdom? Here friends, a beggar knows: 'I have let go of lust, taken it out by the roots, like a palm cut off at its base it is a thing that no longer has life, a thing that cannot come into existance again.' He knows: 'I have let go of hate, taken it out by the roots, like a palm cut off at its base it is a thing that no longer has life, a thing that cannot come into existance again.' He knows: 'I have let go of delusion, taken it out by the roots, like a palm cut off at its base it is a thing that no longer has life, a thing that cannot come into existance again.'

[10.06][pts][wp] Ten Dhammas of the Seer:[18]
The seer's high view, The seer's high principles, the seer's high speech, the seer's high works, the seer's high lifestyle, the seer's high self-control, the seer's high mind, the seer's high getting high, the seer's high knowledge, the seer's high freedom.

These then, friends, are those ten-part Dhammas consummately taught by the Bhagava, that #1-Consummately-Awakened-One, an Arahant who knows and sees. In this situation, let us all gather to gether as one, undivided, so that this Best of Lives will stay on track and stand for a long time as a benefit to the many, as a pleasure for the many, out of compassion for the world, for the benefit and pleasure of gods and man.

[10.07][pts][wp]Not translated.

HERE ENDS THE SANGITI SUTTANTA

 


[1] Dasa nātha-karaṇā dhammā.

[2] This is a set of terms often applied to Ananda, the Buddha's cousin, one who apparently had photographic memory, but who was unable during the life of the Buddha to advance to Arahantship. So we can understand that this is intended to be a description of one who has thorough book knowledge, but not necessarily one who has been able to attain the goal.

[3] Rhys Davids has: "...a friend, an associate, an intimate of men of good character." and Walshe has "...a friend, associate and intimate of good people." I do not see the "men of good character/...of good people" here.

[4] Rhys Davids: "Where there are duties to be done for the seniors among his fellow-disciples, he therin is industrious, not slothful, and exercises forethought in methods for discharging them, is capable of accomplishing, capable of organizing." Walshe: "whatever various jobs there are to be done for his fello-monks, he is skillful, not lax, using foresight in carrying them out, and is good at doing and planning."

[5] abhidhamma abhivinaya: all translators appear to need to comment on this one! Walshe notes: "DA is doubtful whether abhidhamma here means 'the seven Pakaranas', i.e. the Abhidhamma Pitaka as we know it, or not. The short answer is that if this text goes back to the Buddha's time (which is possible but far from certain), the word abhidhamma can only have the more general sense of 'higher teaching' or the like. Similar considerations apply to abhivinaya." Rhys Davids footnotes similarly: "B., by alternative exegeses, shows these terms are used vaguely. The former may mean the third Pitake, or the doctrine of the Paths and Fruits. The latter may mean the Khandhaka-Parivara, or the end of the Vinaya — self-mastery."
Why is this important? Because if it were a reference to the Abhidhamma it would give legitimacy to that work, (but if "Abhidhamma" is to refer to "The Abhidhamma", then where is our "The Abhivinaya"?) if (and this is doubtful) this sutta is contemporaneous with the Buddha. But it is attributed to Sāriputta at a time when Sāriputta was already dead (and depending on the accuracy of the history concerning the Nigantha's death, even perhaps some time after the Buddha's death)!

[6] Dasa kasiṇāyatanāni. Rhys Davids notes the commentary here (and I agree) "Kasina in the sense of entire." I think this is word-play between the title and the subheadings: The 10 Whole-Spheres (ayatana: atmo-sphere)...the earth-device is whole when perceived as one...; in other words this is not a description of ten devices, it is a description of when these ten devices are perceived correctly and completely. Sāriputta: "Do you see that old log over there? I, should I wish, could see that old log as earth or as water, or as fire, or as wind. Whatsoever way I wished to perceive it, that is the way I could perceive it." (not very accurately remembered! Here is a translation: — The Tree-trunk [Olds, trans.], AN 6.41
PED: Kasiṇa1entire, whole J IV.111, 112.
2 ... one of the aids to ... the practice by means of which mystic meditation may be attained. They are fully described at A V.46 sq., 60
Walshe notes some confusion concerning the "consciousness" device. This is explained in one sutta that I recollect where this device is described as the study of the Dhamma. I say that the practice being used here on BuddhaDust is the practice of the Consciousness Device — using Dhamma Vicaya not simply to learn and understand the Dhamma, but as a thing on which to focus the mind so as to bring about results consistant with the Dhamma.
See also Fourty Subjects of Meditation;
Warren: Buddhism in Translations: The Earth Kasinaand Exercises: Make an Earth Kasina

[7] Advayaɱ. (not ekatta, but a=not,un, dva=dvi=2, divided) non-dual or undivided, but what is meant is the uniformity of the nature of the perception, that is, not a mixture, as we normally perceive the world, of various elements — again reference the quote from Sāriputta: he is saying he is able to perceive the log as uniformly made up of one element (whichever he chooses) whereas the modern scientific view would be that even though the primary perceived nature of a log would be solidity (paṭhavi) that solidity would be a mixture of solid, liquids, heat and the motion of atoms. What Sāriputta is able to do is see it as earth or water or fire or just a wave-form. What purpose is served by this? Most likely many more purposes than I can see! But one I can see is that such perception makes understanding of not-self somewhat easier.

[8] Dasa akusala-kammapathā.

[9] Dasa kusala-kammapathā.

[10] Dasa ariya-vāsā.

[11] See also 5s#7

[12] See also 6s#20

[13] Cetasā.heart = mind; I have used "intent" because my understanding is that the process is approximately: thoughts appear to the mind (early in training we are not able to evade the thoughts that occur to the mind — later the shaman has risen above the sphere of influence of thoughts); identification with and reaction to thoughts produce emotions which we say occur in the "heart"; control over these emotions is got by control over one's intentions both at the time that thoughts occur and after emotions have been formed.
If I am not mistaken this passage should cause no inconsiderable problems for those who would suggest that sati was mindfulness in the sense of some sort of constant attention. The practice is 'minding' — to observe where one is out of control, in danger, control it by letting go of it at the point where the impulse is to react. One moves from observing details of the consequences of one's reactions, to observing details of one's impulses to react, to observing where one can let go of reaction, to observing where one might have once reacted, to observing that one no longer is in danger of reacting, to being completely detached.

 

Sidebar: Do I hear someone asking:
"How do you square the above statement with the other statement:
'How, friends, does a beggar get well-freed in heart? Here, friends, a beggar is free from lustful thoughts, is free from hateful thoughts, is free from deluded thoughts. Even so, friends, does a beggar get well-freed heart.'"?
Good question. Glad to see someone is reading with their eyes open.
The easiest thing would probably just to have translated citta in the second instance as intentions also. But what I believe is intended here is a phenomena one experiences which is a step beyond intentions and is really best described as "free from even perceptions of" something that has not even got as far as could be described as thoughts or their derivatives in intentions.
Without needing to impose any sort of ultimate beginning-state to the world (you can figure out why I needed to say that later), imagine that there is a state where the world does come to a state of complete resolution (that is for individuals, not the world as a whole — this is called "stopping the world" by Castenada's Don Juan). Think of a pond where the surface, completely undisturbed by any perceptable forces, has become still, calm, tranquill.
In the state prior to this one sees an individual with contorted facial features approaching, hears overtones in their voice to this point associated with anger, sees clenched fists, and so forth and perceives this as an angry individual approaching. This perception can be of two sorts: what we call a feeling, or reaction, and what we call an intellectual conclusion.
The former is a state not yet free from angry intention or angry thought. How come? Because the perception that there is anger there is fundamentally incorrect. The perception of anger is based on perception that there is ultimate individuality there both in the other and in self. The perception (as opposed to the intellectual conclusion) "this is anger" is already an identification being made with an emotion that is being created and an intent to react to that emotion based on that perception. One may not voice anger or show anger in any overt manner, but one is not free from anger.
The next case is perhaps several generations removed from this situation. There can be many layers here. At one point one comes to the perception (clear, real, no faking it) that there is some poor soul in some kind of deep pain approaching. These (same features as in the above case) are the facial features, intonations of voice, and bodily gestures of one in deep pain.
These "better" levels need to be encouraged (it is important to recognize such changed states as indicators of progress and not just as different situations. Recognizing them as change one can determine direction . . . and one wishes to head in the direction of improvement...it is easier to escape from pity than it is from anger), they come and go in the beginning, and one should make the situation conscious..."I am perceiving as pitiful what normally I reacted to with anger...this is an improvement...let this continue and grow." And it becomes the only way these "thoughts" occur to one.
This still cannot be described as being completely free of angry thought or intention. How come? Because this is still very emotional. This form of pity can still be shown to be associated with personal identification with states of mind. Personal identification with states of mind can be shown to be a matter of desire to be. Differentiation between lust, anger, blindness and desire to be is a mere matter of words, or a matter of skillful or unskillful perceptions.
To this point we have made lust and anger and blindness into one thing: desire to be, but we are not yet free. When we have resolved the perceptions of the being approaching into matters of shape and color and collections of names (ideas) (nama and rupa) and have no emotional reaction whatever we are at the stage next door to being free.
The next step is a matter of being able to take in the whole spectrum of perceptions described here and be able to determine the state of mind of the "other" out there by way of the intellect. But that is still very slow and vulnerable. Next up? Understanding the other individuals situation by it's context. That is, by way of the Four Aristocrats of Truths, understanding that no matter what it is, it is just pain that is approaching, and knowing how to deal with that. Then, still further along, doing this by second nature, or having 'become' Dhamma.
Not having taken it to this step one is not yet free because one is vulnerable for a while to slipping back because one may have understood the principle, but one has not understood it's scope. One needs to practice and to generalize out into universals and in this way become conscious that there can be in future no twist on the situation that can trick you into a reaction.
One recognizes that one is at this stage when one sees that "that way madness lies." One has learned not to stick one's hand in the fire. A process otherwise known as "understanding.")
At that point one is free. But not yet has one reached freedom of mind.
At this point, when one is free, one must again make one's self conscious of the situation: It is in seeing freedom in freedom that one knows "This is Freedom." And it is only then that one may know: "Left behind is birth, done is duty's doing; the best life has been lead; no more of this side or that side; no more it'n and at'n for me!"

Walshe translates: "...how has he established one guard? By guarding his mind with mindfulness."
Rhys Davids has: "How has he set the one guard? By the mental guard of mindfulness.

[14] Panunna put away, rejected or rejecting, dispelled, driven away, sent.
-paccekasacca one who has rejected each of the four false truths.

[15] See also 4s#8

[16] Saṭṭha dismissed; -esana one who has abandoned all longing or research ... .

[17] Here my "Principles", for Sankappa, does not fit as well as the usual "Aims".

[18] Dasa asekkhā dhammā.
Asekha: [a + sekha] not requiring to be trained, adept, perfect, one who is no longer a learner, an expert; very often meaning an Arahant. I have decided to go with "seeker" and "seer" for the sekha-asekha pair. See The 10th Lesson for my reasons for using Samma Vijja for Samma Nana and Samma Upekkha for Samma Vimutti when I cast this as the 10-fold Path.


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