Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikāya
III. Upari Paṇṇāsa
2. Anupada Vagga

Sutta 111

Anupada sutta

Tracking Down

Translated from the Pali by Michael M. Olds

 


 

Translator's Introduction

This sutta says: Sariputta has all the qualities of one who has attained the goal. He attained the goal through tracking down the essential factors necessary for insight.

Here's what he did: He focused on the components of the jhanas, attaining each jhana in succession until he reached the ending of perception and sense experience at which time all corruption of his vision was burnt out.

Here is the magical thing: Focusing on the method within the method, Sariputta focuses on the details of various things by becoming aware of them, defining them to himself in such a way as to make them recognizable and examining them from their point of origin through to their point of ending.

At each major step as defined by the jhanas, he achieves detachment in mind by this method.

So why go farther? In each case because he understands there to be a higher freedom.

What is that higher freedom? It is the ending of perception and sense experience.

But what is the ending of perception and sense experience but the experience of realizing: 'So now this is how me-things not having been, become, having become, disappear!'

So what is the magic of this sutta?

Seeing how this progression tracks down the core phenomena yielding release which was there from the first.
That is the magic of this sutta.

Was this a waste of time? Not at all. Without having in this way so thoroughly and systematically tracked down the operating factor, release might* always have been temporary and doubt would follow. Having tracked down the mechanism to it's point of origin, that is in the emerging into the world of individuality from the place where 'one perception arises and another perception passes away' (Sariputta's description of the ending-of-perception-and-sense-experience) there is no further room for misunderstanding. The factors making regression possible (blindness, aka the asavas) have been burnt away and regression is prevented and doubt eliminated.

*Might because we have the case of one who is able to attain arahantship after the first jhana. Seems simple enough. If you 'get it' it can be done at this point.

 


 

[1][pts][ntbb][than][chlm][upal] 'ERE GOES ME 'EAR'N:

There come one time The Lucky Man's 'roun Savatthi revisit'n, Jeta Woods, Anathapindika's[1] Pleasure Grove where to call the beggars, "Beggars!" sais The Lucky Man.

"Broke-tooth!" sais the beggars to The Potter in response.

The Fortunate One then said this to them: —

[2][pts][ntbb][than] "Learned, beggars, is Sariputta.
Of great wisdom, beggars, is Sariputta.
Of broad wisdom, beggars, is Sariputta.
Of brilliant wisdom, beggars, is Sariputta.
Of swift wisdom, beggars, is Sariputta.
Of sharp wisdom, beggars, is Sariputta.
Of penetrating wisdom, beggars, is Sariputta.[2]

For a half-month, beggars, Sariputta, tracking down things of insight, experienced insight.

This then beggars, was how Sariputta's tracking down of things of insight was done:

[3][pts][ntbb][than] Here beggars, Sariputta,
separating himself from pleasure,
separating himself from unskillful things,
with re-thinking,
with involvement,
alone,
pleasurably enthusiastic,
rose up into and revisited
the first brilliant knowing.

[4][pts][ntbb][than] And whatever there be that's a thing of the first brilliant knowing
— re-thinking and involvement[3] and enthusiasm
and pleasure
and concentration,
contact,
sensation,
perception,
intent,
emotion,
wanting,
undertaking,
energy,
memory,
detachment,
study —
those things were definitively tracked down,
those things were observed on arising into being
observed as they stayed standing,
observed as they set off back home.

And in this way he realized:
'So now this is how me-things
not having been, become,
having become, disappear!'

And, such being neither accepted nor rejected,
neither wished for nor entangling,
he revisited release — disconnection,
with mind made boundless.

So, though a higher letting-go be known,
by making much of even such as that,
even such as this is to be had.[4]

[5][pts][ntbb][than] Again, beggars, deeper than that,
Sariputta, smoothing out[5] re-thinking and involvement,
inwardly tranquillized,
become one-pointed in mind,
without re-thinking, without involvement,
with the pleasurable enthusiasm born of focus[6]
[26] rose up into and revisited
the second brilliant knowing.

[6][pts][ntbb][than] And whatever there be that's a thing of the second brilliant knowing
— inward tranquillity and enthusiasm
and pleasure
and concentration,
contact,
sensation,
perception,
intent,
emotion,
wanting,
undertaking,
energy,
memory,
detachment,
study —
those things were definitively tracked down,
those things were observed on arising into being
observed as they stayed standing,
observed as they set off back home.

And in this way he realized:
'So now this is how me-things
not having been, become,
having become, disappear!'

And, such being neither accepted nor rejected,
neither wished for nor entangling,
he revisited release — disconnection,
with mind made boundless.

So, though a higher letting-go be known,
by making much of even such as that,
even such as this is to be had.

[7][pts][ntbb][than] Again, beggars, deeper than that,
Sariputta, dispassionate and detached from enthusiasm,
living recollected and self-aware,
and experiencing bodily pleasure,
— which is what the Aristocrats describe as:
'Living pleasantly, recollected and detached.' —
rose up into and revisited
the third brilliant knowing.

[8][pts][ntbb][than] And whatever there be that's a thing of the third brilliant knowing
— pleasure and recollection
and self-awareness
and concentration
contact,
sensation,
perception,
intent,
emotion,
wanting,
undertaking,
energy,
memory,
detachment,
study —
those things were definitively tracked down,
those things were observed on arising into being
observed as they stayed standing,
observed as they set off back home.

And in this way he realized:
'So now this is how me-things
not having been, become,
having become, disappear!'

And, such being neither accepted nor rejected,
neither wished for nor entangling,
he revisited release — disconnection,
with mind made boundless.

So, though a higher letting-go be known,
by making much of even such as that,
even such as this is to be had.

[9][pts][ntbb][than] Again, beggars, deeper than that,
Sariputta, letting go of pleasure letting go of pain,
with the preceding mental ease and mental pain subsided,
without pain, without pleasure
with detached purified recollection
rose up into and revisited
the fourth brilliant knowing.

[10][pts][ntbb][than] And whatever there be that's a thing of the fourth brilliant knowing
— detachment,
not-painful-but-not-pleasant sensation,
clarity of sensation[7],
absence of thoughts in mind[8],
purified recollection,
concentration,
contact,
sensation,
perception,
intent,
emotion,
wanting,
undertaking,
energy,
memory,
detachment,
study —
those things were definitively tracked down,
those things were observed on arising into being
observed as they stayed standing,
observed as they set off back home.

And in this way he realized:
'So now this is how me-things
not having been, become,
having become, disappear!'

And, such being neither accepted nor rejected,
neither wished for nor entangling,
he revisited release — disconnection,
with mind made boundless.

So, though a higher letting-go be known,
by making much of even such as that,
even such as this is to be had.

[11][pts][ntbb][than] Again, beggars, deeper than that,
Sariputta, passing totally beyond perceptions of formed material,
subsidence of perceptions of reaction,
without studious examination of perceptions of diversity,
thinking 'Without end is space.'
rose up into and revisited
the region of endless space[9].

[12][pts][ntbb][than] And whatever there be that's a thing of the region of endless space
— perception of the region of endless space
and concentration,
contact,
sensation,
perception,
intent,
emotion,
wanting,
undertaking,
energy,
memory,
detachment,
study —
those things were definitively tracked down,
those things were observed on arising into being
observed as they stayed standing,
observed as they set off back home.

And in this way he realized:
'So now this is how me-things
not having been, become,
having become, disappear!'

And, such being neither accepted nor rejected,
neither wished for nor entangling,
he revisited release — disconnection,
with mind made boundless.

So, though a higher letting-go be known,
by making much of even such as that,
even such as this is to be had.

[13][pts][ntbb][than] Again, beggars, deeper than that,
Sariputta, passing totally beyond perceptions of the region of endless space,
thinking:
'Without end is consciousness,'
rose up into and revisited
the region of endless consciousness.

[14][pts][ntbb][than] And whatever there be that's a thing of the region of endless consciousness
— perception of the region of endless consciousness
and concentration,
contact,
sensation,
perception,
intent,
emotion,
wanting,
undertaking,
energy,
memory,
detachment,
study —
those things were definitively tracked down,
those things were observed on arising into being
observed as they stayed standing,
observed as they set off back home.

And in this way he realized:
'So now this is how me-things
not having been, become,
having become, disappear!'

And, such being neither accepted nor rejected,
neither wished for nor entangling,
he revisited release — disconnection,
with mind made boundless.

So, though a higher letting-go be known,
by making much of even such as that,
even such as this is to be had.

[28] [15][pts][ntbb][than] Again, beggars, deeper than that,
Sariputta, passing totally beyond perceptions of the region of endless consciousness,
thinking:
'B'aint a what.'
rose up into and revisited
the region of nary a what'n.

[16][pts][ntbb][than] And whatever there be that's a thing of the region of nary a what'n
— perception of the region of nary a what'n
and concentration
contact,
sensation,
perception,
intent,
emotion,
wanting,
undertaking,
energy,
memory,
detachment,
study —
those things were definitively tracked down,
those things were observed on arising into being
observed as they stayed standing,
observed as they set off back home.

And in this way he realized:
'So now this is how me-things
not having been, become,
having become, disappear!'

And, such being neither accepted nor rejected,
neither wished for nor entangling,
he revisited release — disconnection,
with mind made boundless.

So, though a higher letting-go be known,
by making much of even such as that,
even such as this is to be had.

[17][pts][ntbb][than] Again, beggars, deeper than that,
Sariputta, passing totally beyond perceptions of the region of nary a what'n,
rose up into and revisited
the region of neither-perception-nor-non-perception.

[18][pts][ntbb][than] Then he emerged, recollecting his conquest.

Then having emerged,
recollecting his conquest
such things — past, eradicated, rearranged —
were things he considered thus:
'So now this is how me-things
not having been, become,
having become, disappear!'[10]

And, such being neither accepted nor rejected,
neither wished for nor entangling,
he revisited release — disconnection,
with mind made boundless.

So, though a higher letting-go be known,
by making much of even such as that,
even such as this is to be had.

[19][pts][ntbb][than] Again, beggars, deeper than that,
Sariputta, passing totally beyond the region of neither-perception-nor-non-perception
rose up into and revisited
the ending of perception and sense experience.

[20][pts][ntbb][than] In such method-wise was had his burning out of corrupt influences[11] [12]

Then having emerged recollecting his conquest
such things — past, eradicated, rearranged —
were things he considered thus:
'So now this is how me-things
not having been, become,
having become, disappear!'

And, such being neither accepted nor rejected,
neither wished for nor entangling,
he revisited release — disconnection,
with mind made boundless.

So, b'aint higher letting-go beknown,
by making much of such as this,
such as that is to be had.

[21][pts][ntbb][than] Who would of one speak highly, beggars, speaking thus:
'He has got mastery of,
has reached perfection in
the ethical culture of the Aristocrats,
he has got mastery of,
[29] has reached perfection in
the focus of the Aristocrats,
he has got mastery of,
has reached perfection in
the wisdom of the Aristocrats,
he has got mastery of,
has reached perfection in
the freedom of the Aristocrats,'
of Sariputta speaking highly,
would one speak thus:
'He has got mastery of,
has reached perfection in
the ethical culture of the Aristocrats,
he has got mastery of,
has reached perfection in
the focus of the Aristocrats,
he has got mastery of,
has reached perfection in
the wisdom of the Aristocrats,
he has got mastery of,
has reached perfection in
the freedom of the Aristocrats.'

[22][pts][ntbb][than] Who would of one speak highly, beggars, speaking thus:
'He is the legitimate son of the Lucky Man,
born of his mouth,
born of Dhamma,
animated by Dhamma,
heir to the Dhamma,
no heir to carnal things,'
of Sariputta speaking highly
would one speak thus:
'He is the legitimate son of the Lucky Man,
born of his mouth,
born of Dhamma,
animated by Dhamma,
heir to the Dhamma,
no heir to carnal things.'

[23][pts][ntbb][than] Sariputta, beggars, rolls on the unsurpassed high-roll'n Dhamma-wheel
set a roll'n by the That-that-got-that.

So said The Lucky Man.

And those beggars were happily delighted with what the Potter said.

 


[1] Anāthapiṇḍika. A nātha = without refuge; piṇḍika = doler-out. Feeder of the unprotected.

[2] Look at the way this section is dealt with by the other translators. This is a series. Whenever the Buddha gives us a series like this he is hypnotizing us, spell-binding us, drawing us deeper into the spell. This is entirely lost in translation if each increment of the series does not augment the previous members of the searies, expanding and amplifying the image and directing the mind towards the goal...if there is duplication or randomness or reversal of direction in the terms used.
Additionally for those of us who are translating, and for those of us reading translations, the progression of a series serves as an important check on the correctness of the translation not only of the terms in the series, but of the thing being modified by the series. If the series does not progress but wanders around, then there is an error in translation. If each term does not properly modify it's object, then the word being used for the object is incorrectly translated.

[3] My translations are continuously attempting to reconcile my perceptions of the phenomena (The incessant verbal rehash yackety yack and reworking of ideas in the imagination; Castenada's 'the inner dialog') with the Pali words which are literally: 're-talking and re-wandering around or carrying on.'

[4] Suchas such as such as that
Is such as such is had
By such as such as that is done.

[5]Vūpasamā. Re-Up-Even-ing. The concept is important. It is not eradication or suppression or letting go [of vitakka and vicara, see note 4 above] — efforts to get rid of it which make it a thing unto itself — it is calming down and smoothing out. This verbal thinking can be seen as a sort of boiling up of agitation and stress which is not something that can be separated out from the world and eliminated, but is energy which must be re-integrated, placed back into position where it disappears as a unique phenomena.

[6] Samādhijaɱ. Born of Samadhi. Where I am saying that the general understanding of this term has been too narrow. It means the having brought into alignment towards or harmonizing [Bhk. Punnaji] with the goal of every step of the system, from giving to ethical culture to self-discipline to mental culture. Samma Samadhi, defined as the jhanas, is just the culminating state of this whole process.

[7] Making this up from what should be there rather than from the texts which appear confused. See Bhk. Thanissaro's notes at MN.111 n3

[8] Cetaso anābhogo. Bhks. Ñāṇamoli/Bhodi join this with their understanding of the previous to come up with: "the mental unconcern due to tranquility," which is interesting; Bhk. Thanissaro follows substituting 'serinity'; Horner has 'impassivity of mind' and ignores passi vedanā.

[9]Ākāsānañcāyatana.

[10] The intent here seems to be that what is being contimplated now is the journey from the first jhana to this point. The 'things' being contemplated being the various jhanas rather than as in the previous states, the factors of the jhanas. The perspective has broadened-out and deepened. He is at the summit, but has not yet let go of the summit. That's next.

[11] Horner, Bhks. Ñāṇamoli/Bhodi and Thanissaro would all have this occuring by an act of perception on Sariputta's part in the saññāvedayitanirodha, the state of the ending of perception and sense experience. This is the consequence of the attaining of this state, the perception occurs after emergence.

[12] Āsavā. Influences, corruptions, taints, any bad thing of any sort — the term needs to include such things as obstacles and dangers.


 

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