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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 5

Ākāsānañcāyatana Suttaṃ

The Realm of Endless Space

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 Realm of Endless Space!
The Realm of Endless Space!"
so they say.

Now what then is The Realm of Endless Space?'

So then it recurred to me, friends:

'"Here a beggar,
with the passing beyond of all shape-perception
the retreating of perception of resistance,
inattentive to perception of diversity,
thinking 'Endless Space!"[1]
abides getting a grip
on The Realm of Endless Space."

This is what they call The Realm of Endless Space.'

Then I, friends,
with the passing beyond of all shape-perception
the retreating of perception of resistance,
inattentive to perception of diversity,
thinking 'Endless Space!"
abided getting a grip
on The Realm of Endless Space.

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

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

"Moggallāna!

Moggallāna!

Do not, brahmin,
be careless with The Realm of Endless Space!

Set your heart on The Realm of Endless Space!

Make one with your heart The Realm of Endless Space.

Steady your heart in The Realm of Endless Space!"

So then I, friends,
with the passing beyond of all shape-perception
the retreating of perception of resistance,
inattentive to perception of diversity,
thinking 'Endless Space!"
abided getting a grip
on The Realm of Endless Space.

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] Ananto ākāso. This is a command made to the mind. To say 'endless is space' is here to form a conclusion about the state before one has attained it. The statement 'Endless Space' is like the command you give to the taxi cab driver when you get into the cab: "West 55th Street between Eighth and Ninth!" No waste words.


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