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Saɱyutta Nikāya
IV. Saḷāyatana Vagga
40. Moggalāna Saɱyutta

The Book of the Kindred Sayings
IV. Kindred Sayings on the 'Six-fold Sphere'
Chapter 40: Kindred Sayings about Moggallāna

Sutta 4

Upekhā Suttaṃ

Detachment

Translated from the Pali by Michael Olds

 


 

[1][pts] I HEAR TELL:

Once upon a time Old Man Moggallāna The Great,
Sāvatthī-town revisiting,
Jeta Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's Park.

There then Old Man Moggallāna The Great addressed the beggars:

"Beggars, my friends!"

"Friend! the beggars responded to Moggallāna.

Old Man Moggallāna The Great said to them:

"Here, friends, as I had retreated into solitude
there arose in my heart
this train of thought:

'"The Fourth Knowing!
The Fourth Knowing!"
so they say.

Now what then is the Fourth Knowing?'

So then it recurred to me, friends:

'"Here a beggar,
letting go of his pleasures
letting go of his pains
his anticedent mental ease and mental pain retiring
without pain
without pleasure
detached-recollected-thoroughly purified[1]
abides getting a grip
on the fourth knowing."

This is what they call the fourth knowing.'

Then I, friends,
letting go of my pleasures
letting go of my pains
my anticedent mental ease and mental pain retiring
without pain
without pleasure
detached-recollected-thoroughly purified
abided getting a grip
on the fourth knowing.

But then, friends,
as I abided in this abiding,
there arose and came about me
attention of mind to
perceptions connected to pleasure.

There then, friends,
The Lucky man, through his magisty,
approached me and said:

"Moggallāna!

Moggallāna!

Do not, brahmin,
be careless with the fourth knowing!

Set your heart on the fourth knowing!

Make one with your heart the fourth knowing.

Steady your heart in the fourth knowing!"

So then I, friends,
letting go of my pleasures
letting go of my pains
my anticedent mental ease and mental pain retiring
without pain
without pleasure
detached-recollected-thoroughly purified
abided getting a grip
on the fourth knowing.

He who would, speaking highly of one, friends, say:

"The Master brought the student to attainment of great higher knowledge,"

would, speaking highly of me, say:

"The Master brought the student to attainment of great higher knowledge."

 


[1] Upekkhā-sati-pārisuddhiṃ. Woodward has for Upekkhā-sati-pārisuddhiṃ. "a state of perfect purity of balance and equanimity," which either ignores 'sati' or (unlikely) translates it as 'balance.' I argue that 'upekkhā', usually translated 'equanimity' should be translated 'detachment'. PED: "looking on", hedonic neutrality or indifference, zero point between joy and sorrow ... disinterestedness, neutral feeling, equanimity. Sometimes equivalent to adukkham-asukha-vedanā "feeling which is neither pain nor pleasure". (Which is the 'vedanā' of the Arahant, or the equivalent of Nibbāna.'Upekkhā' is also the equivalent of 'vimutti', 'freedom,' which is also the equivalent of Nibbāna.) I except "equanimity". Equanimity is a state of impassivity which is a precurser to detachment (see the Sixth Sambojjhanga) and is a state which is still involved with the world. The goal is a state that is at least temporarily not involved with the world.


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