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Saŋyutta Nikāya,
V: Mahā Vagga
52. Anuruddha Saŋyutta
I. Rahogata Vagga

Suttas 4-6
The Cactus Forest Suttas

Translated from the Pali by Michael Olds

Sutta 4

Cactus Forest I

 


 

[1][pts] I HEAR TELL:

Once upon a time the Elder Anuruddha and the Elder Sariputta and the Elder Maha-Moggallana Sakete Cactus Grove residing.

2. There then emerging from seclusion one evening-time the Elder Sariputta and the Elder Maha-Moggallana approached the Elder Anuruddha and drew near.

Having drawn near they exchanged well-wishing together with the Elder Anuruddha.

Having made the exchange of polite talk they took seats to one side.

3. Seated to one side, then, the Elder Sariputta said this to the Elder Anuruddha:

The beggar, a seeker, friend Anuruddha, what are those things which should be spit out by him once he has trod their path?

The beggar, a seeker, friend Sariputta, should spit out the four settings-up of memory once he has trod their path.

What four?

Here, friend, a beggar, living in body overseeing body, ardent, self-aware, recollected, having put away worldly ambition and disappointment.

Living in sensation overseeing sensation, ardent, self-aware, recollected, having put away worldly ambition and disappointment.

Living in the heart overseeing the heart, ardent, self-aware, recollected, having put away worldly ambition and disappointment.

Living in the Dhamma overseeing the Dhamma, ardent, self-aware, recollected, having put away worldly ambition and disappointment.

The beggar, a seeker, friend Sariputta, should spit out these four settings-up of memory once he has trod their path.

 


 

Sutta 5

Cactus Forest II

 


 

[1][pts] I HEAR TELL:

Once upon a time the Elder Anuruddha and the Elder Sariputta and the Elder Maha-Moggallana Sakete Cactus Grove residing.

2. There then emerging from seclusion one evening-time the Elder Sariputta and the Elder Maha-Moggallana approached the Elder Anuruddha and drew near.

Having drawn near they exchanged well-wishing together with the Elder Anuruddha.

Having made the exchange of polite talk they took seats to one side.

3. Seated to one side, then, the Elder Sariputta said this to the Elder Anuruddha:

The beggar, a master[1], friend Anuruddha, what are those things which should be spit out by him once he has trod their path?

The beggar, a master, friend Sariputta, should spit out these four settings-up of memory once he has trod their path.

What four?

Here, friend, a beggar, living in body overseeing body, ardent, self-aware, recollected, having put away worldly ambition and disappointment.

Living in sensation overseeing sensation, ardent, self-aware, recollected, having put away worldly ambition and disappointment.

Living in the heart overseeing the heart, ardent, self-aware, recollected, having put away worldly ambition and disappointment.

Living in the Dhamma overseeing the Dhamma, ardent, self-aware, recollected, having put away worldly ambition and disappointment.

The beggar, a master, friend Sariputta, should spit out these four settings-up of memory once he has trod their path.

 


 

Sutta 6

Cactus Forest III

 


 

[1][pts] I HEAR TELL:

Once upon a time the Elder Anuruddha and the Elder Sariputta and the Elder Maha-Moggallana Sakete Cactus Grove residing.

2. There then emerging from seclusion one evening-time the Elder Sariputta and the Elder Maha-Moggallana approached the Elder Anuruddha and drew near.

Having drawn near they exchanged well-wishing together with the Elder Anuruddha.

Having made the exchange of polite talk they took seats to one side.

3. Seated to one side, then, the Elder Sariputta said this to the Elder Anuruddha:

Of what sort, friend Anuruddha, is the Dhamma, developed and made a big thing of through which your great higher-powers[2] were received?[3]

It is, friend Sariputta, through developing and making a big thing of the four setting's up of memory that I have received great higher powers.

Which four?

Here, friend, I live in body overseeing body, ardent, self-aware, recollected, having put away worldly ambition and disappointment.

I live in sensation overseeing sensation, ardent, self-aware, recollected, having put away worldly ambition and disappointment.

I live in the heart overseeing the heart, ardent, self-aware, recollected, having put away worldly ambition and disappointment.

I live in the Dhamma overseeing the Dhamma, ardent, self-aware, recollected, having put away worldly ambition and disappointment.

5. It is, friend Sariputta, through developing and making a big thing of these four setting's up of memory that I have received great higher powers.

And further, friend, it is through developing and making a big thing of these four setting's up of memory that I overlook the thousand worlds.[4]

 


[1] Asekha. Not-seeker. No longer seeking, he is one who knows. Woodward: Adept.

[2] Abhiñña. Over-knowings. This term could mean having the special conditions that are required for Arahantship, but it is more likely, given Anuruddha's reputation as one with great psychic powers, that it refers to a set of five powers. The five are: 1. Iddhividhā: magic power in general, specifically the ability to fly through the air, but also to project force-fields, become invisible, materialize things, etc.; 2. Dibbasotaṃ; the Deva Ear or the ability to hear sounds both far and near, human and non-human, understand all languages, understand the communications of animals and plants, etc.; 3. Paracittavijānanaṃ: the ability to encompass another's heart (mind) — more than simply thought reading, this is both the ability to know another's mental state as well as the thoughts that accompany them and the intent another person has as well as the next likely thoughts and actions; 4. Pubbenivāsānussatiñāṇaṃ: the ability to remember one's previous 'vestments', births; 5. Dibbacakkhu: the ability to see far and near. This is not clarvoyance as it is understood here today, which is the ability to see the future. This is the ability to see the things that are going on in the present in distant places. The army and CIA today [U.S.A. Saturday, June 09, 2012 9:12 AM] call this 'Far-seeing'. Seeing the future in this system is always a matter of seeing probable outcomes, not certain outcomes, even when what is 'seen' is a picture of what may occur. 'If so and so does not change his ways,' or 'if something doesn't occur to change this, this is certain to be the result.' This is the power for which Anuruddha is most famous. Elsewhere Anuruddha is chastized by Sariputta for taking too much pride in this power. This set of suttas here may also be a subtle attempt by Sariputta to make Anuruddha give up clinging to method once he has accomplished the goal. This is supported by this being conducted in the presence of Moggallana who was next only to Gotama supreme in his abilities with magic power. Moggalllana's presence would give the force of authority to the instruction to one who held himself more accomplished than Sariputta in attainment of magic powers. (Sariputta was a teacher, held second only to Gotama in understanding of Dhamma, but he did not have great magic powers.)

[3] Patto. Attained or got, but I wonder if this isn't 'bowled' got in the bowl. It's in the bag.

[4] This is a 'lion's roar'. Something that would cause anone with less power to tremble in their boots if it were said as a response to an instruction that one needed to learn something, but not too smart said as a retort to Sariputta or Moggallana. It is also possible that this was said simply to underscore the value of making a big thing of the four settings-up of memory. It was quite common for a master to ask elementary questions of Gotama or one of the other Elders, or submit to low-level instruction by them for the sake of his students who would be sitting in the audience.


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