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Saŋyutta Nikāya,
V: MahāVagga

10. (54) ĀnāpānaSaŋyutta

The Aspiration Collection

1. Ekadhammavaggo

Book 1: One Thing

Sutta 1

Ekadhammasuttaṃ

One Thing

Translated from the Pali by Michael Olds

 


 

[311]

[1][pts][wp][ati] I HEAR TELL:

Once upon a time Bhagava, Savatthi-town revisiting, Anathapindika's Jeta-forest park.

[2][pts][wp][ati] Then The Lucky Man addressed the Beggars there: "Bhikkhus!"

"Bhadante!" the beggars responded to Bhagava.

Bhagava said this to them:[1]

[3][pts][wp][ati] One thing[2] beggars, developed, made much of, makes for great fruit, great benefit.

What one thing?

Recollecting aspiration.

And how 'developed', beggars is recollecting aspiration?

How 'made much of', suchas makes for great fruit, great benefit?

[4][pts][wp][ati] Here beggars, a beggar
having gotten himself off to the forest
or to the root of some tree,
or to some empty hut,
and having taken up his seat there
sitting down,
setting the body upright,
legs bent-across-lapwise[3],
recollecting he attends to the face,[4] just so he recollects inspiration,
just so he recollects expiration.

[5][pts][wp][ati] If he inspires deeply, he knows: 'I am inspiring deeply.'
If he breaths out deeply, he knows: 'I am expiring deeply.'

If he inspires shallowly, he knows: 'I am inspiring shallowly.'
If he exspires shallowly, he knows: 'I am expiring shallowly.'

[6][pts][wp][ati] 'Reflecting on the totality of bodily experience[5] I will inspire,' this is the way he trains.
'Reflecting on the totality of bodily experience, I will expire,' this is the way he trains.

'Pacifying[6] own-body-making, I will inspire,' this is the way he trains.
'Pacifying own-body-making, I will expire,' this is the way he trains.

[312] [7][pts][wp][ati] 'Observing enthusiasm, I will inspire,' this is the way he trains.
'Reflecting on enthusiasm, I will expire,' this is the way he trains.

'Observing pleasure, I will inspire,' this is the way he trains.
'Observing pleasure, I will expire,' this is the way he trains.

[8][pts][wp][ati] 'Reflecting on the own-making of the heart, I will inspire,' this is the way he trains.
'Reflecting on the own-making of the heart, I will expire,' this is the way he trains.

'Pacifying the own-making of the heart, I will inspire,' this is the way he trains.
'Pacifying the own-making of the heart, I will expire,' this is the way he trains.

'Reflecting on the heart, I will inspire,' this is the way he trains.
'Reflecting on the heart, I will expire,' this is the way he trains.

[9][pts][wp][ati] 'Abundantly content in heart, I will inspire,' this is the way he trains.
'Abundantly content in heart, I will expire,' this is the way he trains.

'Composing the heart[7], I will inspire,' this is the way he trains.
'Composing the heart, I will expire,' this is the way he trains.

'Liberating the heart, I will inspire,' this is the way he trains.
'Liberating the heart, I will expire,' this is the way he trains.

[10][pts][wp][ati] 'On the look-out[8] for inconsistancy, I will inspire,' this is the way he trains.
'On the look-out for inconsistancy, I will expire,' this is the way he trains.

'On the look-out for the end of lust[9], I will inspire,' this is the way he trains.
'On the look-out for the end of lust, I will expire,' this is the way he trains.

'On the look-out for ending, I will inspire,' this is the way he trains.
'On the look-out for ending, I will expire,' this is the way he trains.

'On the look-out for opportunities to let go, I will inspire,' this is the way he trains.
'On the look-out for opportunities to let go, I will expire,' this is the way he trains.

[11][pts][wp][ati] Suchwise 'developed', beggars, suchwise 'made much of' recollecting aspiration makes for great fruit, great benefit.

 


[1]Text abbreviates:
Sāvatthi
ārāme

Tatra kho
la
etad avoca||
Here all the Nidanas will be spelled out.

[2]Ekadhammo. Odds on it is this statement here that was corrupted into "ekāyano" and then translated still more corruptly as 'The One and Only Way.'

[3]Indian Style; full lotus, half lotus, or crossed in front without overlap. Most images show the Buddha in half lotus posture, however the two other postures provide a better balance, and the full lotus has the advantage of securing the legs in the event of flight, of 'forcing' the body up on the haunches and by that forcing the back up straight [with time in the full lotus, perfectly upright bodily posture is the only comfortable postion], and of fighting off sleepiness. Once mastered the full lotus posture can be sustained without pain for longer periods than the other two postures.
PED: Pallanka [pary+anka, cp. Class Sk. palyanka and Māgadhī paliyanka] 1. sitting cross-legged, in instr. pallankena upon the hams S I.124, 144; and in phrase pallankaṃ ābhujati "to bend (the legs) in crosswise" D I.71; M I.56; A III.320; J I.17, 71; Ps I.176; Pug 68; Miln 289; DhA II.201.

[4]Parimukhaṃ satiṃ upaṭṭhapetvā. Whatever the translators of this phrase finally agree on, this means in practice that the meditator is to make sure (remember) that the various muscles associated with (pari — around) the organs of the face (mukham) (especially around the eyes, at the corners of the nose and mouth, and the set of the teeth) are as free from tension as possible.
Woodward translates: "setting mindfulness in front of him" and interprets according to the hindu-yoga tradition "Between the eyebrows, where the Hindus place the brow-cakram." Bhikkhu Bodhi translates: "set up mindfulness in front of him" and quotes commentary: "...Vibh 252,14-16 says: 'This mindfulness is set up, well set up at the tip of the nose or at the centre of the upper lip.'
Path of Purity: "Establishing his mindfulness in front" means, setting his mindfulness in the direction of the subject of meditation. Or, pari (in parimukhaṃ "in front") has the meaning of "grasping all round"; mukhaṃ of "going out from"; sati (mindfulness) of "being present," and it is therefore said to be parimukhaṃ sati. The meaning is to be taken here according to the version of the Paṭisambhidā, [i, 176] of which the folllowing is an abstract: setting up mindfulness concerning a going forth which is thoroughly grasped."
For further discussion of this phrase see: DhammaTalk, Give Ear, Remembering Sati

[5]Sabbakāyapaṭisaŋvedi. All-body-[rebound, up against, off]-own-experience. This is the training that is to lead to, or is the foundation or cause of paṭisaŋvid, apperception, knowing. My 'understanding' based on Paṭivedeti, 'to make known' + saŋ to the self
Woodward: "...feeling it go through the whole body." Footnoting: "He visualizes the breath as passing in and through the whole frame and out again."
Bodhi: "Experiencing the whole body..."
Sabbang. The Phrase [compound] 'Sabbakāya' 'All Body' needs to be understood in the light of The Phrase 'Own Body' [next 'recollecting'] — what we perceive or understand to be 'our own body' is only a fraction of that which constitutes The Body [for example, for the most part, when we think of the body, we are thinking of the outer appearance only; or in some cases we are thinking only of the inner workings of some organ; or we may be thinking of body only as the solid element, or the four fundamental elements when we should also be considering as aspects of body the influence on it of such things as mental set and emotions]; the basic notion to be worked after in the case of the term 'all body' is that while we may experience certain aspects of the body as under our control, a wider view will show that the sustenance of the body is actually a cooperative effort of the entire existing world; here we want 'remembering' of All that which directly touches The Body.

[6] Passam-bhayaṃ for 'passify' here and just below, and Samādahaṃ for 'composing'.
Woodward uses: calming down and composing; Bhk. Bodhi uses: tranquillizing for both. PED: Passambhati [pa+shrambh] to calm down, to be quiet Vin I.294 (fut -issati); D I.73; M III.86; S V.333; A III.21. -pp. passaddha; Causative passambheti...
I use 'passify' because I use 'impassivity' for 'pasadhi', the fifth dimension of awakening (see #2)...the way this exercise will develop. Both Bhk. Bodhi and Woodward use 'tranquillity' for 'passadhi'. For 'Samādahaṃ', I use composing reluctantly. Bhk. Bodhi and Woodward understand 'samadhi' as an exercise in concentration. I use 'composing' understanding that 'concentration' is only one stage in the process of bringing the mind to the position where one is able to see without distortion -- the prerequisite for the next stage which is detachment. The sequence used by Bodhi and Woodward [tranquillity, concentration, equanimity] leaves us with 'the quality of having an even mind' [OED] which would better fit the samā of samādhi and is also not 'free'. See also glossology: Sambojjhanga.
In any case it should be clear that what is indicated here is at least a training exercise for the requirement of the meditator who wishes to enter the second 'kowning' [jhana] where vitaka and vicara are eliminated.

[7]See note 6 above.

[8]-ānupassī. Both Woodward and Bhk. Bodhi use 'contemplating'. This has two disadvantages: 1. It does not incorporate the idea of 'seeing' found in the word '-ānupassī,' and contimplation incorporates the notion of actively thinking about where 'over-seeing' is a neutral state of observation.

[9]Virāgā. Literally: 'dis-passion' (dis-rage). The question, with regard to Bhk. Bodhi's (fading away) and Woodward's (dispassion) translations is: What, in actual fact, does "contimplating fading away...dispassion" mean? Are we to be on the lookout for places to end passion, or are we to be on the lookout for the state of having ended passion? Or are we to be observing and thinking about places to end passion or are we to be observing and thinking about the state of having ended passion? My preference is indicated by my translation which is informed by the practice...where the observation of the breath makes the grasping involved in passion noticable and consequently susceptable of being let go.

 


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