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Saŋyutta Nikāya,
V: MahāVagga
48. Indriya Saŋyutta
IV. Sukhindriya (or Uppaṭi) -vagga

Sutta 40

Uppatika[1] Suttaɱ

In Order Experienced

Translated from the Pali by Michael Olds.

 


 

Translator's Introduction

There is some discussion of this sutta centering on the question: How is it that this sutta speaks of ending domanassa in the second jhana, when unholsome states are spoken of as being gotten rid of to attain the first jhana?

The very first thing to understand here is that 'dukkha' or 'domanassa' or any of the other terms mentioned here are not the same things as 'Dukkh'indriyam', etc. The sutta is not speaking about 'dukkha', etc., it is speaking about 'dukkha-indriya' 'dukkha's force' or 'the force of dukkha'.

The second thing to understand is that the translation of 'indriya' as 'sense organ' or 'faculty' breaks down here. The Indriya are 'forces'; energy fields. How is 'dukkha' (pain) in any way a sense organ or faculty?

The next thing to understand is that neither pain nor the force of pain (or any of the other forces and their sources) are in-and-of-themselves unholsome states. It is the personal reaction to the force that is the unholsome state. The force can exist or appear to one without it being allowed to become an unholsome state.

Again, to understand that this is not a corrupt sutta it must be understood that the Forces are not things in-and-of themselves. They are terms describing the potential of things which arise during jhana (or elsewhere) to disrupt the jhana or other aspects of one's practice.

'Force' describes the ability of a thing to affect one. Like 'horse-power'. The force of a hurricane (1,2,3,4) is not the wind or rain, it is the power of the wind or rain to cause damage. The force of an earthquake (5, 6, 7) is a measure of its ability to cause damage. It is not the actual shaking of the earth.

So the force of dukkha is not pain itself, but its potential to cause one to become upset, want to get away from it, or for it to otherwise disrupt one's ability to achieve freedom from pain. Rebirth has enormous potential to cause disturbance. Physical pain much less so.

These forces can enter your practice at any stage. You have been sitting in the first jhana, above unskillful states, for the past three hours and that pain in the ass that arises after such a time from the impression made there from the seam in your pants threatens to cause you to get up and do something else. Recognizing in the force of pain, its ability to disturb your sitting practice, knowing how it arises (from wanting to get rid of the pain itself), knowing how it ends (by ending the wanting), one has recognized and understood the force.

The work of entering the various jhana, the factors involved in attaining the jhanas, progressively eliminates the various forces as described in the sutta.

Though the pain may endure, it does not disturb.

The force of pain is to be got rid of in the first jhana; pain itself may not be got rid of before the fourth jhana, the unskillful state of being disturbed by the force is got rid of prior to the first jhana.

The force of misery (domanassa) is to be eliminated by the process of entering the second jhana, domanassa itself may not be eliminated before achieving the third jhana in the process of entering the fourth jhana, the unskillful state of being disturbed by the force is to be got rid of prior to the first jhana.

And it is the same with the other forces.

 


 

[1][pts] I HEAR TELL:

2. Once upon a time Bhagava, Sāvatthī-town revisiting,
there then addressed the bhikkhus:

"Beggars!"

"Bhadante" the beggars then responded to Bhagava."

The Lucky man said to them:

"There are, beggars, these five forces.[2]

What five?

Pain's force,
miseries's force,
pleasure's force,
ease's force,
detachment's force.

There are then, beggars, these five forces.

Here, beggars, to a beggar living carefully,
ardent,
in control,
there appears the experience of pain's force.

He thus understands:

'I am now experiencing pain's force;
and that it has identifying signs,
it had beginnings,
it was own-made,
it had pre-conditions.

And that without identifying signs,
without beginnings,
without being own-made,
without pre-conditions —
pain's force should come to be,
does not stand up against the obvious.'

Such a one understands pain's force,
understands the arising-to-self of pain's force,
and understands the ending of pain's force.

But also to be understood
is whatever effects the cessation without remainder
of pain's force.

And what effects the cessation without remainder of pain's force?

Here beggars, in a beggar,
separating himself from sense pleasures,
separating himself from unskillful things,
with thought,
with consideration of solitude-born entheusiastic pleasure,
there arises and abides the first burning knowledge.

It is here that is effected the cessation without remainder of pain's force.

This beggar, beggars, is called:

'A beggar who knows the end of pain's force,
one who has got his heart under control.'

 


 

Here, beggars, to a beggar living carefully,
ardent,
in control,
there appears the experience of miseries's force.

He thus understands:

'I am now experiencing miseries's force;
and that it has identifying signs,
it had beginnings,
it was own-made,
it had pre-conditions.

And that without identifying signs,
without beginnings,
without being own-made,
without pre-conditions —
miseries's force should come to be,
does not stand up against the obvious.'

Such a one understands miseries's force,
understands the arising-to-self of miseries's force,
and understands the ending of miseries's force.

But also to be understood
is whatever effects the cessation without remainder
of miseries's force.

And what effects the cessation without remainder of miseries's force?

Here beggars, in a beggar,
thinking and consideration subsiding,
internally pacified,
whole-heartedy single-minded,
without thinking,
without contemplating serenity-born entheusiastic pleasure,
there arises and abides the second burning knowledge.

It is here that is effected the cessation without remainder of miseries's force.

This beggar, beggars, is called:

'A beggar with knowledge of the end of miseries's force,
one who has got his heart under control.'

 


 

Here, beggars, to a beggar living carefully,
ardent,
in control,
there appears the experience of pleasure's force.

He thus understands:

'I am now experiencing pleasure's force;
and that it has identifying signs,
it had beginnings,
it was own-made,
it had pre-conditions.

And that without identifying signs,
without beginnings,
without being own-made,
without pre-conditions —
pleasure's force should come to be,
does not stand up against the obvious.'

Such a one understands pleasure's force,
understands the arising-to-self of pleasure's force,
and understands the ending of pleasure's force.

But also to be understood
is whatever effects the cessation without remainder
of pleasure's force.

And what effects the cessation without remainder of pleasure's force?

Here beggars, in a beggar,
indifferent towards entheusiasm,
and living detached,
recollected,
self-aware,
and experiencing bodily pleasure
such as is spoken of by the aristocrats thus:

'Detached, recollected he lives pleasantly.'

there arises and abides the third burning knowledge.

It is here that is effected the cessation without remainder of pleasure's force.

This beggar, beggars, is called:

'A beggar with knowledge of the end of pleasure's force,
one who has got his heart under control.'

 


 

Here, beggars, to a beggar living carefully,
ardent,
in control,
there appears the experience of ease's force.

He thus understands:

'I am now experiencing ease's force;
and that it has identifying signs,
it had beginnings,
it was own-made,
it had pre-conditions.

And that without identifying signs,
without beginnings,
without being own-made,
without pre-conditions —
ease's force should come to be,
does not stand up against the obvious.'

Such a one understands ease's force,
understands the arising-to-self of ease's force,
and understands the ending of ease's force.

But also to be understood
is whatever effects the cessation without remainder
of ease's force.

And what effects the cessation without remainder of ease's force?

Here beggars, in a beggar,
who has let go of pleasures,
who has let go of pain,
previous ease and misery finding their own way home,
without pain,
without pleasure,
his detached-mind-thoroughly purified,
there arises and abides the fourth burning knowledge.

It is here that is effected the cessation without remainder of ease's force.

This beggar, beggars, is called:

'A beggar with knowledge of the end of ease's force,
one who has got his heart under control.'

 


 

Here, beggars, to a beggar living carefully,
ardent,
in control,
there appears the experience of detachment's force.

He thus understands:

'I am now experiencing detachment's force;
and that it has identifying signs,
it had beginnings,
it was own-made,
it had pre-conditions.

And that without identifying signs,
without beginnings,
without being own-made,
without pre-conditions —
detachment's force should come to be,
does not stand up against the obvious.'

Such a one understands detachment's force,
understands the arising-to-self of detachment's force,
and understands the ending of detachment's force.

But also to be understood
is whatever effects the cessation without remainder
of detachment's force.

And what effects the cessation without remainder of detachment's force?

Here beggars, in a beggar,
passing entirely beyond the Realm of Neither-Perception-Nor-Non-Perception,
there arises and abides perception-experience-ending.

It is here that is effected the cessation without remainder of detachment's force.

This beggar, beggars, is called:

'A beggar with knowledge of the end of detachment's force,
one who has got his heart under control.'"

 


[1] CSCD titles this sutta Uppaṭipāṭika Bhk. Bodhi, apparently following PED (Ud + paṭipāṭi) translates: "Irregular Order". Woodward follows commentary which refers it to the chapter title, giving Uppaṭi-pāṭika, 'Arisen with reference to what has gone before'. What we have here is the Forces presented in an unusual order. The 'regular order' of this group of forces is: Pleasure, Pain, Mental Pleasure, Mental Pain, Detachment. In this sutta the order is altered. The order as we have it here comports with the order in which these forces should be (or, rather, will be) eliminated by the meditator. So we can reconcile the differences by the idea: 'Listed in order of their importance to the meditator." thus my: "In Order Experienced".

[2] Indriyāni.

 


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