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Saŋyutta Nikāya,
V: MahāVagga
54 Ānāpāna Saŋyutta

The Aspiration Collection

1. Ekadhammavaggo

Book 1: One Thing

Sutta 9

Vesālī or The Impure

Translated from the Pali by Michael Olds

 


 

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

Once upon a time Bhagava, Vesālī-land revisiting, Great-Woods, House with the peaked roof.

At that time Bhavava use to preach to the beggars there in a multiplicity of ways about the subject of the impure[1]; speaking about the advantages of talking about the subject of 'the impure', speaking about the advantages of developing the subject of 'the impure'.[2]

Then the Lucky man addressed the bhikkhus:

"I wish, beggars, to retire to chambers for the half month.
No one should approach me except the one who brings my mess-bowl food."

Even so, bhante, the beggars responded in agreement and subsequently no one approached the Lucky Man except the one who brought his mess-bowl food.

Then those beggars, saying: "The Bhagava used to preach in a multiplicity of ways about the subject of the impure; speaking about the advantages of talking about the subject of 'the impure', speaking about the advantages of developing the subject of 'the impure'" lived devoting themselves to the development of 'the impure' in a multiplicity of ways.

These, being depressed, ashamed, disgusted, with body, sought out a way to take to the knife,
In one day as many as ten bhikkhus took to the knife,
In one day as many as twenty bhikkhus took to the knife,
In one day as many as thirty bhikkhus took to the knife.

Then, returning from his retirement to chambers at the end of that half-month, Bhagava spoke thus to the Agéd Ananda:

"What's this now, Ananda? Thinned of beings seems the Order of Bhikkhus."

Indeed that is so, bhante! Because the Bhagava preached to the beggars in a multiplicity of ways about the subject of the impure; [321] speaking about the advantages of talking about the subject of 'the impure', speaking about the advantages of developing the subject of 'the impure', the beggars, bhante, saying: "The Bhagava used to preach in a multiplicity of ways about the subject of the impure; speaking about the advantages of talking about the subject of 'the impure', speaking about the advantages of developing the subject of 'the impure'" lived devoting themselves to the development of the subject of 'the impure' in a multiplicity of ways.
These, being depressed, ashamed, disgusted, with body, sought out a way to take to the knife.
As many as ten — twenty — thirty bhikkhus took to the knife in one day.
It would be good, bhante, if the Bhagava would reveal another course to establish the Order of bhikkhus in omniscience.

In that case, Ananda, whatsoever there are of bhikkhus who have taken up residence in Vesālī
they all should be gathered together in the meeting hall.

Even so bhante, said the Agéd Ananda in reply, and whatsoever there were of bhikkhus who had taken up residence in Vesālī they all gathered together in the meeting hall.
Once gathered together, he said this to Bhagava:
"The bhikkhu Sangha has assembled, bhante, now is the time for the Bhagava to do what he has in mind".

Then The Lucky Man went to the meeting hall.
Arriving there he sat down in the designated seat.
So seated he said this to the bhikkhus there:

When, beggars, resperation-remembering high-getting is developed and made a big thing of it brings peace and living in undampened pleasure and, additionally, bad, unskillful things disappear on the spot.

In the same way, beggars, as the stirred up dust and dirt of the last month of summer is settled by a great untimely thunderstorm and is caused to disappear on the spot,
even so, beggars, resperation-remembering high-getting developed and made a big thing of brings peace and living in undampened pleasure and, additionally, bad, unskillful things disappear on the spot.

And how, beggars, is resperation-remembering high-getting developed and made a big thing of suchas to bring peace and living in undampened pleasure and, additionally, to cause bad, unskillful things disappear on the spot?

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,
recollecting he attends to the face,
just so he recollects inspiration,
just so he recollects expiration.

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.'

'Reflecting on the totality of bodily experience,
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 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.

'Reflecting on 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.

'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.

'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,
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.

'On the look-out 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,
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.

This is how, beggars, resperation-remembering high-getting is developed and made a big thing of suchas to bring peace and living in undampened pleasure and, additionally, to cause bad, unskillful things disappear on the spot.

 


[1]Asubhakatha asubhakathaṃ katheti — "about the not-pure talk talking." Not 'speaking in praise of foulness' per Bhk Nm/Bodhi; Woodward's 'subject of the unlovely' is closer. Hereafter in quotes to indicate that this is in fact 'samadhi technique based on reflection on impurity' and does not intend what we would otherwise read as encouragement to develop the impure. Asubhāya vaṇṇaṃ bhāsati, asubhabhāvanāya vaṇṇaṃ bhāsati. Both Woodward and Bhk. Bodhi insert the words 'meditation on' which is not in the text

[2]Bhk. Bodhi footnotes with an explanation that the intent is the meditation on the 32 parts of the body and on the Charnel Field both found in the Satipatthana Sutta.

References:

Defeat or Vesālī (A combination of this sutta plus the Vinaya version describing the same situation)

 


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