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Saŋyutta Nikāya,
V: MahāVagga
46. Bojjhanga Saŋyutta
I. Pabbata-Vaggo

Sayings Related to
The Dimensions of Awakening

Sutta 3

Sīla Suttaṃ

Ethical Culture

Translated from the Pali by Michael Olds

 


 

[1][pts][bodh] I HEAR TELL:

This was said in Sāvatthī.

2. Whatever beggars, beggars,
have come to growth in ethical culture,
have come to growth in serenity,
have come to growth in wisdom,
have come to growth in freedom,
have come to growth in freedom of knowing and seeing, —
to be able, beggars
to see such beggars,
is worth much, say I.

3. To be able, beggars,
to hear such beggars,
is worth much, say I.

To be able, beggars,
to draw near to such beggars,
is worth much, say I.

To be able, beggars,
to pay homage to such beggars,
is worth much, say I.

To be able, beggars,
to recollect the memory of such beggars,
is worth much, say I.

To be able, beggars,
to follow such beggars into homelessness,
is worth much, say I.

4. How come?

Listening to such beggars, beggars,
Dhamma is made manifest
to one living in solitude
in two forms of solitude:
solitude in body, and
solitude in heart.

Such a one,
living in solitude,
recollects the memory of such Dhamma,
thinks it over.

5. At such a time, beggars, as a beggar,
living in solitude,
recollects the memory of such Dhamma,
thinks it over,
that gives rise to the memory dimension of self-awakening
and thus such has been started by that beggar.[1]

At such a time, beggars,
as the memory dimension of self-awakening is begun,
at such a time, that beggar's memory dimension of self-awakening
is headed towards fulfillment.

Such a one
living remembering such Dhamma
wisely thinking it over,
recollecting it,
produces thorough pondering.

6. At such a time, beggars, as a beggar,
living remembering such Dhamma,
wisely thinking it over,
recollecting it,
produces thorough pondering,
that gives rise to the Dhamma-research dimension of self-awakening
and thus such has been started by that beggar.

At such a time, beggars,
as the Dhamma research dimension of self-awakening is begun,
at such a time, that beggar's Dhamma research dimension of self awakening
is headed towards fulfillment.

Such a one,
wisely thinking over such Dhamma,
recollecting it,
producing thorough pondering,
sets up tireless energy.

7. At such a time, beggars, as a beggar,
wisely thinking over such Dhamma,
recollecting it,
producing thorough pondering,
has set up tireless energy,
that gives rise to the energy dimension of self-awakening
and thus such has been started by that beggar.

At such a time, beggars,
as the energy dimension of self-awakening is begun,
at such a time, that beggar's energy dimension of self-awakening
is headed towards fulfillment.

In one setting up the production of energy
uncarnal excitement arises.

8. At such a time, beggars, as a beggar,
in setting up the production of energy,
uncarnal excitement arises,
that gives rise to the Enthusiasm dimension of self-awakening
and thus such has been started by that beggar.

At such a time, beggars,
as the Enthusiasm dimension of self-awakening is begun,
at such time, that beggar's Enthusiasm dimension of self-awakening
is headed towards fulfillment.

In one who is Enthusiastic in mind,
the body is passive,
the heart is passive.

9. At such a time, beggars, as a beggar,
Enthusiastic in mind,
is passive in body,
passive in heart,
that gives rise to the impassivity dimension of self-awakening
and thus such has been started by that beggar.

At such a time, beggars,
as the impassivity dimension of self-awakening is begun,
at such a time, that beggar's impassivity dimension of self-awakening
is headed towards fulfillment.

He who's body is impassive is at ease.

At ease the heart is serene.

10. At such a time, beggars, as a beggar,
impassive in body and at ease,
at ease, who'se heart is serene,
that gives rise to the serenity dimension of self-awakening
and thus such has been started by that beggar.

At such a time, beggars,
as the serenity dimension of self-awakening is begun,
at such a time, that beggar's serenity dimension of self-awakening
is headed towards fulfillment.

He who is serene in heart and at ease has become well detached.

11. At such a time, beggars, as a beggar,
serene in heart and at ease
has become well detached
that gives rise to the detachment dimension of self-awakening
and thus such has been started by that beggar.

At such a time, beggars,
as the detachment dimension of self-awakening is begun,
at such a time, that beggar's detachment dimension of self-awakening
is headed towards fulfillment.

 

§

 

12. Thus developed, then, beggars,
the seven dimensions of awakening
thus made a big thing of
seven fruits,
seven results
are to be expected.

What seven fruits, seven results?

13. In this seen thing, before death, accomplishing omniscience.

14. If not in this seen thing, before death, accomplishing omniscience,
then at the time of death accomplishing omniscience.

15. If not in this seen thing, before death, accomplishing omniscience,
if not at the time of death accomplishing omniscience,
then thoroughly breaking the five yokes to rebirth in the lower realms,
becoming midway-thoroughly-cool.[2]

16. If not in this seen thing, before death, accomplishing omniscience,
if not at the time of death accomplishing omniscience,
if not thoroughly breaking the five yokes to rebirth in the lower realms,
becoming midway-thoroughly-cool,
then thoroughly breaking the five yokes to rebirth in the lower realms,
becoming stopped-forshortened-thoroughly-cool[3].

17. If not in this seen thing, before death, accomplishing omniscience,
if not at the time of death accomplishing omniscience,
if not thoroughly breaking the five yokes to rebirth in the lower realms,
becoming midway-thoroughly-cool,
if not thoroughly breaking the five yokes to rebirth in the lower realms,
becoming stopped-forshortened-thoroughly-cool,
then thoroughly breaking the five yokes to rebirth in the lower realms,
becoming no-ownmaking-thoroughly-cool.[4]

18. If not in this seen thing, before death, accomplishing omniscience,
if not at the time of death accomplishing omniscience,
if not thoroughly breaking the five yokes to rebirth in the lower realms,
becoming midway-thoroughly-cool,
if not thoroughly breaking the five yokes to rebirth in the lower realms,
becoming stopped-forshortened-thoroughly-cool,
if not thoroughly breaking the five yokes to rebirth in the lower realms,
becoming no-ownmaking-thoroughly-cool,
then thoroughly breaking the five yokes to rebirth in the lower realms,
becoming with-ownmaking-thoroughly-cool.[5]

19. If not in this seen thing, before death, accomplishing omniscience,
if not at the time of death accomplishing omniscience,
if not thoroughly breaking the five yokes to rebirth in the lower realms,
becoming midway-thoroughly-cool,
if not thoroughly breaking the five yokes to rebirth in the lower realms,
becoming stopped-forshortened-thoroughly-cool,
if not thoroughly breaking the five yokes to rebirth in the lower realms,
becoming no-ownmaking-thoroughly-cool,
if not thoroughly breaking the five yokes to rebirth in the lower realms,
becoming with-ownmaking-thoroughly-cool,
then thoroughly breaking the five yokes to rebirth in the lower realms,
going up-stream to the Akanittha Realm.[6]

20. These then, beggars are the seven fruits, seven results to be expected from developing and making a big thing of the seven dimensions of awakening.

 

§

 

21.[7] It is because of this, beggars,
that what was said
was said
when it was said that:

Whatever beggars, beggars,
have come to growth in ethical culture,
have come to growth in serenity,
have come to growth in wisdom,
have come to growth in freedom,
have come to growht in freedom of knowing and seeing, —
to be able, beggars
to see such beggars,
is worth much, say I.

To be able, beggars,
to hear such beggars,
is worth much, say I.

To be able, beggars,
to draw near to such beggars,
is worth much, say I.

To be able, beggars,
to pay homage to such beggars,
is worth much, say I.

To be able, beggars,
to recollect the memory of such beggars,
is worth much, say I.

To be able, beggars,
to follow such beggars into homelessness,
is worth much.

So say I.

 


[1] See also for sections 5-11, my translation of SN 5.54.13 sections 22-28, for which the Pali is virtually identical for both.

[2] Antarāparinibbāyī. As defined in the footnotes of the PTS translations, in PED and in Cohen's NPD, this is a technical term which means a non-returner who, after death and after rebirth in some unspecified heaven reaches thorough coolness before the end or around the mid-point of that life. I have checked DN 3. XXXIII, PTS trans, pg 227: 'one who passes away before middle age in that world in which he has been reborn' (but the Pali does not contain anything like 'in that world in which he has been reborn'. [Follow above link to see for yourself.] I have also checked out the other references given in footnotes and the dictionaries and in every case what is happening is that a definition/translation is being given to this term that is not to be found in the Suttas (that is, it is likely being taken from commentary). By itself, which is what I believe the proper method in this case would indicate, the translation is: midway-allround-cool(er) or beteen-allaround-cool(er) or if you want to go to 'Old Pali': End-around-allaround-cooler or fore-around-allaround-cooler. In the list of non-returners in AN 7 16 which is the same as in this sutta and in DN 33 and in AN 7.52, this person is the first in the descending-in-accomplishment group found here and each term of which is similarly translated with reference to information outside the suttas. The possibilities are that this is in fact reference to reaching the cool mid-term of the next life, or, looking at the last term, which speaks of rebirth in the Akaniṭṭha Realm, a Pure Abode, which is a destination exclusively for Non-returners where all persons born there attain the cool mid-way through the given lifespan there and thinking 'hum ... this looks like the last person is experiencing the same destiny as the first,' concluding that what may be being spoken of is 'midway between the death in this body and the next rebirth.' This is, of course, a point which raises a hulla-balloo in some circles. I don't see any problem with the idea that there is a period of time which varies for different individuals between say 'formal rebirths' and simply traveling around disembodied such as in a dream and that what is being spoken of in this series is the length of that period — the endpoint of which period for the non-returner if he had not got free earler would be rebirth in the Akaniṭṭha realm. I am translating the terms as found, leaving the meaning ambiguous. I do not recall a case where a technical term not obvious from the formation of the term itself is not defined within the suttas. Remember! The list is in descending order of skill, so each subsequent term is describing a person with more holding on than the one before.
See also for this: AN 9.12 (where I have this same note)

[3] Upahacca-parinibbāyī. Presumably at some point past the mid-point between death and the next life.

[4] Asaŋkhāra-parinibbāyī. Presumably at some pont past death and the next life without the experience of having to deal with any identified-with phenomena. I am not sure I see a distinction between this one and the previous two, but elsewhere there is description of this situation as being 'without much trouble', and the next as 'with some trouble', so perhaps it is a matter of the difficulty of coping with the temptation to be.

[5] Sasaŋkhāra-parinibbāyī.

[6] Uddhaṃsoto hoti akaṇiṭṭhagāmī. A Pure Abode exclusively for non-returners especially suited for accomplishing the goal. The non-returner usually accomplishes his end before mid-point in the lifespan of this realm. See above note 2.

[7] Not in the Pali, but the usual way such a sutta would be completed.


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