WARREN: BUDDHISM IN TRANSLATIONS

353

 

 


 

 

Ī 74. The Four Intent Contemplations
Mahā-Satipatthāna Sutta

Translated from the Digha-Nikāya, and constituting Sutta 22

 

THUS HAVE I HEARD.

On a certain occasion The Blessed One was dwelling among the Kurus where was the Kuru-town named Kammāsadhamma. And there The Blessed One addressed the priests:

"Priests," said he.

"Lord!" said the priests in reply.

And The Blessed One spoke as follows: --

Priests, there is but one way open to mortals for the attainment of purity, for the overcoming of sorrow and lamentation, for the abolition of misery and grief, for the acquisition of the correct rule of conduct, for the realization of Nirvana, and that is the Four Intent Contemplations.[1]

[354] And what are the four?

Whenever, O priests, a priest lives, as respects the body, observant of the body, strenuous, conscious, contemplative, and has rid himself of lust and grief; as respects sensations, observant of sensations, strenuous, conscious, contemplative, and has rid himself of lust and grief; as respects the mind, observant of the mind, strenuous, conscious, contemplative, and has rid himself of lust and grief; as respects the elements of being, observant of the elements of being, strenuous, conscious, contemplative, and has rid himself of lust and grief.

End of the Introduction.


And how, O priests, does a priest live, as respects the body, observant of the body?

Whenever, O priests, a priest, retiring to the forest, or to the foot of a tree, or to an uninhabited spot,[2] sits him down [355] cross-legged with body erect and contemplative faculty intent, and contemplates his expirations, and contemplates his inspirations, and in making a long expiration thoroughly comprehends the long expiration he is making, and in making a long inspiration thoroughly comprehends the long inspiration he is making, and in making a short expiration thoroughly comprehends the short expiration he is making, and in making a short inspiration thoroughly comprehends the short inspiration he is making, and trains himself to be conscious of all his expirations, and trains himself to be conscious of all his inspirations, and trains himself to quiet his expirations, and trains himself to quiet his inspirations.[3]

Just as, O priests, a skilful [356] turner, or turner's apprentice, in making a long turn of the wheel thoroughly comprehends the long turn of the wheel he is making, and in making a short turn of the wheel thoroughly comprehends the short turn of the wheel he is making; in exactly the same way, O priests, a priest, in making a long expiration thoroughly comprehends the long expiration he is making, and in making a long inspiration thoroughly comprehends the long inspiration he is making, and in making a short expiration thoroughly comprehends the short expiration he is making, and in making a short inspiration thoroughly comprehends the short inspiration he is making, and trains himself to be conscious of all his expirations, and trains himself to be conscious of all his inspirations, and trains himself to quiet his expirations, and trains himself to quiet his inspirations.

Thus he lives, either in his own person, as respects the body, observant of the body, or in other persons, as respects the body, observant of the body, or both in his own person and in other persons, as respects the body, observant of the body; either observant of origination in the body, or observant of destruction in the body, or observant of both origination and destruction in the body; and the recognition of the body by his intent contemplation[4] is merely to the extent of this knowledge, merely to the extent of this contemplation, and he lives unattached, nor clings to anything in the world.

Thus, O priests, does a priest live, as respects the body, observant of the body.

Section on the Contemplation of Breathing.

[357] But again,[5] O priests, a priest, in walking thoroughly comprehends his walking, and in standing thoroughly comprehends his standing, and in sitting thoroughly comprehends his sitting, and in lying down thoroughly comprehends his [358] lying down, and in whatever state his body may be thoroughly comprehends that state.

Thus he lives, either in his own person, as respects the body, observant of the body, or in other persons, as respects the body, observant of the body, or both in his own person and in other persons, as respects the body, observant of the body; either observant of origination in the body, or observant of destruction in the body, or observant of both origination and destruction in the body; and the recognition of the body by his intent contemplation is merely to the extent [359] of this knowledge, merely to the extent of this contemplation, and he lives unattached, nor clings to anything in the world.

Thus, O priests, does a priest live, as respects the body, observant of the body.

Section on Bodily Postures.

But again, O priests, a priest, in advancing and retiring has an accurate comprehension of what he does; in looking and gazing has an accurate comprehension of what he does; in drawing in his arm and in stretching out his arm has an accurate comprehension of what he does; in wearing his cloak, his bowl, and his robes has an accurate comprehension of what he does; in eating, drinking, chewing, and tasting has an accurate comprehension of what he does; in easing his bowels and his bladder has an accurate comprehension of what he does; in walking, standing, sitting, sleeping, waking, talking, and being silent has an accurate comprehension of what he does.

Thus he lives, either in his own person [etc., as before].

Section on the Four Accurate Comprehensions.

But again, O priests, a priest, considers this body upwards from the soles of the feet, and downwards from the crown of the head, enclosed by skin, and full of all manner of uncleanness, saying, "There is in this body hair of the head, hair of the body, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, sinew, bone, marrow of the bones, kidneys, heart, liver, pleura, spleen, lungs, intestines, mesentery, stomach, faeces, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, lymph, saliva, snot, synovial fluid, urine." Just as if, O priests, there were a double-mouthed vessel full of various sorts of grain, to wit, sāli-rice, common paddy, beans, pulse, sesame, and husked rice; and some intelligent man were to open it and consider its contents, saying, "This is sāli-rice, this is common paddy, these are beans, this is pulse, this is sesame, this is husked rice;" in exactly the same way, O priests, a priest considers this body upwards from the soles of the feet, and downwards from the crown of the head, enclosed by skin, and full of all manner of uncleanness, saying, "There is in this body hair of the head, hair of the body, [360] nails, teeth, skin, flesh, sinew, bone, marrow of the bones, kidneys, heart, liver, pleura, spleen. lungs, intestines, mesentery, stomach, faeces, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, lymph, saliva, snot, synovial fluid, urine."

Thus he lives, either in his own person [etc., as before].

Section on Loathsomeness.

But again, O priests, a priest takes this body, whatever it may be doing, or however it may be situated, and considers it according to the elements of which it is composed, saying,

"There are in this body the elements earth, water, fire, and wind." Just as, O priests, a skilful butcher, or butcher's apprentice, having slaughtered a heifer, divides her into pieces, and stations himself at a place where four roads meet; in exactly the same way, O priests, a priest takes this body,[6] whatever it may be doing, or however it may be situated, and considers it according to the elements of which it is composed, saying, "There are in this body the elements earth, water, fire, and wind."

Thus he lives, either in his own person [etc., as before].

Section on the Elements.

But again, O priests, a priest, if perchance he sees in a cemetery a decaying body one day dead, or two days dead, or [361] three days dead, swollen, black, and full of festering putridity, he compares his own body, saying, "Verily, my body also has this nature, this destiny, and is not exempt."

Thus he lives, either in his own person [etc., as before].

Cemetery the First.

But again, O priests, a priest, if perchance he sees in a cemetery a decaying body being eaten by crows, or being eaten by eagles, or being eaten by vultures, or being eaten by dogs, or being eaten by jackals, or being eaten by various kinds of insects, he compares his own body, saying, "Verily, my body also has this nature, this destiny, and is not exempt."

Thus he lives, either in his own person [etc., as before].

Cemetery the Second.

But again, O priests, a priest, if perchance he sees in a cemetery a decaying body consisting of a skeleton with its flesh and its blood and its tendonous connections, he compares his own body, saying, "Verily, my body also has this nature, this destiny, and is not exempt."

Thus he lives, either in his own person [etc., as before].

Cemetery the Third.

But again, O priests, a priest, if perchance he sees in a cemetery a decaying body consisting of a skeleton, stripped of its flesh, but stained with blood and retaining its tendonous connections, he compares his own body, saying, "Verily, my body also has this nature, this destiny, and is not exempt."

Thus he lives, either in his own person [etc., as before].

Cemetery the Fourth.

But again, O priests, a priest, if perchance he sees in a cemetery a decaying body consisting of a skeleton without its flesh and its blood, but retaining its tendonous connections, he compares his own body, saying, "Verily, my body also has this nature, this destiny, and is not exempt."

Thus he lives, either in his own person [etc., as before].

Cemetery the Fifth.

[362] But again, O priests, a priest, if perchance he sees in a cemetery a decaying body with its bones unconnected and scattered in all directions--the bones of the hands in one direction, the bones of the feet in another, the bones of the shanks in another, the bones of the thighs in another, the bones of the hips in another, the bones of the spine in another, and the skull in another--he compares his own body, saying, "Verily, my body also has this nature, this destiny, and is not exempt."

Thus he lives, either in his own person [etc., as before].

Cemetery the Sixth.

But again, O priests, a priest, if perchance he sees in a cemetery a decaying body with its bones as white as a conch-shell, he compares his own body, saying, "Verily, my body also has this nature, this destiny, and is not exempt."

Thus he lives, either in his own person [etc., as before].

Cemetery the Seventh.

But again, O priests, a priest, if perchance he sees in a cemetery a decaying body with its bones scattered in piles and washed by the rains of years, he compares his own body, saying, "Verily, my body also has this nature, this destiny, and is not exempt."

Thus he lives, either in his own person [etc., as before].

Cemetery the Eighth.

But again, O priests, a priest, if perchance he sees in a cemetery a decaying body with its bones rotting and crumbling into dust, he compares his own body, saying, "Verily, my body also has this nature, this destiny, and is not exempt." Thus he lives, either in his own person [etc., as before].

Cemetery the Ninth.

End of the Intent Contemplation of the Body.[7]


[363] And how, O priests, does a priest live, as respects sensations, observant of sensations?

Whenever, O priests, a priest, in experiencing a pleasant sensation thoroughly comprehends the pleasant sensation he is experiencing, and in experiencing an unpleasant sensation . . . an indifferent sensation . . . an interested and pleasant sensation . . . a disinterested and pleasant sensation . . . an interested and unpleasant sensation . . . a disinterested and unpleasant sensation . . . an interested and indifferent sensation . . . a disinterested and indifferent sensation thoroughly comprehends the disinterested and indifferent sensation he is experiencing.

Thus he lives, either in his own person, as respects sensations, observant of sensations, or in other persons, as respects sensations, observant of sensations, or both in his own person and in other persons, as respects sensations, observant of sensations; either observant of origination in the sensations, or observant of destruction in the sensations, or observant of both origination and destruction in the sensations; and the recognition of the sensations by his intent contemplation is merely to the extent of this knowledge, merely to the extent of this contemplation, and he lives unattached, nor clings to anything in the world.

Thus, O priests, does a priest live, as respects sensations, observant of sensations.

End of the Intent Contemplation of Sensations.


And how, O priests, does a priest live, as respects the mind, observant of the mind?

Whenever, O priests, a priest, in having a passionate mind thoroughly comprehends that passionate mind, or in having a mind free from passion . . . a mind full of hatred . . . a mind free from hatred . . . an infatuated mind . . . a [364] mind free from infatuation . . . an intent mind . . . a wandering mind . . . an exalted mind . . . an unexalted mind . . . an inferior mind . . . a superior mind . . . a concentrated mind . . . an unconcentrated mind . . . an emancipated mind . . . an unemancipated mind thoroughly comprehends that unemancipated mind.

Thus he lives, either in his own person, as respects the mind, observant of the mind, or in other persons, as respects the mind, observant of the mind, or both in his own person and in other persons, as respects the mind, observant of the mind; either observant of origination in the mind, or observant of destruction in the mind, or observant of both origination and destruction in the mind; and the recognition of the mind by his intent contemplation is merely to the extent of this knowledge, merely to the extent of this contemplation, and he lives unattached, nor clings to anything in the world.

Thus, O priests, does a priest live, as respects the mind, observant of the mind.

End of the Intent Contemplation of the Mind.


And how,[8] O priests, does a priest live, as respects the elements of being, observant of the elements of being?

Whenever, O priests, a priest lives, as respects the elements of being, observant of the elements of being in the five obstacles to the religious life.

And how, O priests, does a priest live, as respects the elements of being, observant of the elements of being in the five obstacles to the religious life?

Whenever, O priests, a priest, having existing in himself [365] a sensual disposition thoroughly comprehends the sensual disposition as existing in himself, or not having existing in himself a sensual disposition thoroughly comprehends the sensual disposition as not existing in himself, and thoroughly comprehends how a sensual disposition not yet arisen may arise, and thoroughly comprehends how a sensual disposition already arisen may be abandoned, and thoroughly comprehends how a sensual disposition that has been abandoned may be kept from arising again in the future; or having existing in himself a malevolent disposition . . . a slothful and torpid disposition . . . a proud and unmannerly disposition . . . a doubting disposition thoroughly comprehends the doubting disposition as existing in himself, or not having existing in himself a doubting disposition thoroughly comprehends the doubting disposition as not existing in himself, and thoroughly comprehends how a doubting disposition not yet arisen may arise, and thoroughly comprehends how a doubting disposition already arisen may be abandoned, and thoroughly comprehends how a doubting disposition that has been abandoned may be kept from arising again in the future.

Thus he lives, either in his own person, as respects the elements of being, observant of the elements of being, or in other persons, as respects the elements of being, observant of the elements of being, or both in his own person and in other persons, as respects the elements of being, observant of the elements of being; either observant of origination in the elements of being, or observant of destruction in the elements of being, or observant of both origination and destruction in the elements of being; and the recognition of the elements of being by his intent contemplation is merely to the extent of this knowledge, merely to the extent of this contemplation, and he lives unattached, nor clings to anything in the world.

Thus, O priests, does a priest live, as respects the elements of being, observant of the elements of being.

Exposition of the Obstacles.

But again, O priests, a priest lives, as respects the elements of being, observant of the elements of being in the five attachment-groups. [366]

And how, O priests, does a priest live, as respects the elements of being, observant of the elements of being in the five attachment-groups?

Whenever, O priests, a priest grasps the nature of form, and how form arises, and how form perishes; the nature of sensation, and how sensation arises, and how sensation perishes; the nature of perception, and how perception arises, and how perception perishes; the nature of the; predispositions, and how the predispositions arise, and how the predispositions perish; the nature of consciousness, and how consciousness arises, and how consciousness perishes.

Thus he lives, either in his own person [etc., as before].

Exposition of the Groups.

But again, O priests, a priest lives, as respects the elements of being, observant of the elements of being in the six organs of sense and the six objects of sense.

And how, O priests, does a priest live, as respects the elements of being, observant of the elements of being in the six organs of sense and the six objects of sense?

Whenever, O priests, a priest thoroughly comprehends the eye, thoroughly comprehends forms, thoroughly comprehends the bondage that arises in dependence on the two, and thoroughly comprehends how this bondage not yet arisen may arise, and thoroughly comprehends how this bondage may be abandoned, and thoroughly comprehends how this bondage that has been abandoned may be kept from arising again in the future; thoroughly comprehends the ear, thoroughly comprehends sounds, . . . thoroughly comprehends the nose, thoroughly comprehends odors, . . . thoroughly comprehends the tongue, thoroughly comprehends tastes, . . . thoroughly comprehends the body, thoroughly comprehends things tangible, . . . thoroughly comprehends the mind, thoroughly comprehends ideas, thoroughly comprehends, the bondage that arises in dependence on the two, and thoroughly comprehends how this bondage not yet arisen may arise, and thoroughly comprehends how this bondage may be abandoned, and thoroughly comprehends how this bondage that has been abandoned may be kept from arising again in the future. [367]

Thus he lives, either in his own person, as respects the elements of being [etc., as before].

Exposition of the Organs of Sense and of the Objects of Sense.

But again, O priests, a priest lives, as respects the elements of being, observant of the elements of being in the seven constituents of enlightenment.

And how, O priests, does a priest live, as respects the elements of being, observant of the elements of being in the seven constituents of enlightenment?

Whenever, O priests, a priest, having existing in himself the constituent of enlightenment contemplation thoroughly comprehends the constituent of enlightenment contemplation as existing in himself, or not having existing in himself the constituent of enlightenment contemplation thoroughly comprehends the constituent of enlightenment contemplation as not existing in himself, and thoroughly comprehends how the constituent of enlightenment contemplation not yet arisen may arise, and thoroughly comprehends how the constituent of enlightenment contemplation already arisen may be brought to full development; or having existing in himself the constituent of enlightenment investigation of doctrine . . . the constituent of enlightenment heroism . . . the constituent of enlightenment joy . . . the constituent of enlightenment tranquillity . . . the constituent of enlightenment concentration . . . the constituent of enlightenment indifference thoroughly comprehends the constituent of enlightenment indifference as existing in himself, or not having existing in himself the constituent of enlightenment indifference thoroughly comprehends the constituent of enlightenment indifference as not existing in himself, and thoroughly comprehends how the constituent of enlightenment indifference not yet arisen may arise, and thoroughly comprehends how the constituent of enlightenment indifference already arisen may be brought to full development.

Thus he lives, either in his own person [etc., as before].

Exposition of the Constituents of Enlightenment.

[368] But again, O priests, a priest lives, as respects the elements of being, observant of the elements of being in the four noble truths.

And how, O priests, does a priest live, as respects the elements of being, observant of the elements of being in the four noble truths?

Whenever, O priest, a priest knows the truth concerning misery, knows the truth concerning the origin of misery, knows the truth concerning the cessation of misery, knows the truth concerning the path leading to the cessation of misery.

And what, O priests, is the noble truth of misery?

Birth is misery; old age is misery; disease is misery; death is misery; sorrow, lamentation, misery, grief, and despair are misery; to wish for what one cannot have is misery; in short, all the five attachment-groups are misery.

And what, O priests, is birth?

When of such and such a being, into such and such a class of beings, takes place the birth, the being born, the descent into the womb, the rebirth, the appearance of the groups, the obtaining of the organs of sense, this, O priests, is called birth.

And what, O priests, is old age?

When to such and such a being, in such and such a class of beings, there comes old age, decrepitude, toothlessness, hoariness, wrinkledness of the skin, subsidence of the vital powers, decay of the faculties, this, O priests, is called old age.

And what, O priests, is death?

When of such and such a being, from such and such a class of beings, takes place the passing, the passing away, the breaking up, the disappearance, the dying, the death, the meeting its end, the breaking up of the groups, the laying away of the corpse, this, O priests, is called death.

And what, O priests, is sorrow?

Whenever, O priests, in any one who has experienced some great loss, or is afflicted by some misfortune, there arises sorrow, sorrowing, sorrowfulness, heart-sorrow, heart-sorrowfulness, this, O priests, is called sorrow.

And what, O priests, is lamentation?

Whenever, O priests, any one who has experienced some [369] great loss, or is afflicted by some misfortune, gives way to lamenting, lamentation, laments, lamenting cries, lamentable cries, cries of lamentation, this, O priests, is called lamentation.

And what, O priests, is misery?

Bodily misery, O priests, bodily discomfort, misery and sensations of discomfort experienced in the impressions received by the body, this, O priests, is called misery.

And what, O priests, is grief?

Mental misery, O priests, mental discomfort, misery and sensations of discomfort experienced in the impressions received by the mind, this, O priests, is called grief.

And what, O priests, is despair?

Whenever, O priests, in any one who has experienced some great loss, or is afflicted by some misfortune, there arises desperation, despair, a state of desperation, a state of despair, this, O priests, is called despair.

And what, O priests, is meant by saying, "To wish for what one cannot have is misery?"

In beings, O priests, subject to birth there arises the wish, "O that we were not subject to birth! O that birth might never come to us!" Nevertheless this cannot be obtained by wishing. This is what is meant by saying, "To wish for what one cannot have is misery."

To beings, O priests, subject to old age . . . disease . . . death . . . sorrow . . . lamentation . . . misery . . . grief . . . despair there arises the wish, "O that we were not subject to despair! O that despair might never come to us!" Nevertheless this cannot be obtained by wishing. This is what is meant by saying, "To wish for what one cannot have is misery."

And what, O priests, are meant by saying, "In short, all the five attachment-groups are misery?" The form-attachment-group, the sensation-attachment-group, the perception-attachment-group, the predisposition-attachment-group, the consciousness-attachment-group, -- these, O priests, are what are meant by saying, "In short, all the five attachment-groups are misery."

This, O priests, is called the noble truth of misery.

End of the Exposition of Misery.

[370] And what, O priests, is the noble truth of the origin of misery?

It is desire leading to rebirth, joining itself to pleasure and passion, and finding delight in every existence, -- desire, namely, for sensual pleasure, desire for permanent existence, desire for transitory existence.

But where, O priests, does this desire spring up and grow? where does it settle and take root?

Where anything is delightful and agreeable to men, there desire springs up and grows, there it settles and takes root.

And what is delightful and agreeable to men, where desire springs up and grows, where it settles and takes root?

The eye is delightful and agreeable to men; there desire springs up and grows, there it settles and takes root.

The ear . . . the nose . . . the tongue . . . the body . . . the mind is delightful and agreeable to men; there desire springs up and grows, there it settles and takes root.

The Six Organs of Sense.

Forms . . . sounds . . . odors . . . tastes . . . things tangible . . . ideas are delightful and agreeable to men; there desire springs up and grows, there it settles and takes root.

The Six Objects of Sense.

Eye-consciousness . . . ear-consciousness . . . nose-consciousness . . . tongue-consciousness . . . body-consciousness . . . mind-consciousness is delightful and agreeable to men; there desire springs up and grows, there it settles and takes root.

The Six Consciousnesses.

Contact of the eye . . . ear . . . nose . . . tongue . . . body . . . mind is delightful and agreeable to men; there desire springs up and grows, there it settles and takes root.

The Six Contacts.

Sensation produced by contact of the eye . . . ear . . . nose . . . tongue . . . body . . . mind is delightful and [371] agreeable to men; there desire springs up and grows, there it settles and takes root.

The Six Sensations.

Perception of forms . . . sounds . . . odors . . . tastes . . . things tangible . . . ideas is delightful and agreeable to men; there desire springs up and grows, there it settles and takes root.

The Six Perceptions.

Thinking on forms . . . sounds . . . odors . . . tastes . . . things tangible . . . ideas is delightful and agreeable to men; there desire springs up and grows, there it settles and takes root.

The Six Thinkings.

Desire for forms . . . sounds . . . odors . . . tastes . . . things tangible . . . ideas is delightful and agreeable to men; there desire springs up and grows, there it settles and takes root.

The Six Desires.

Reasoning on forms . . . sounds . . . odors . . . tastes . . . things tangible . . . ideas is delightful and agreeable to men; there desire springs up and grows, there it settles and takes root.

The Six Reasonings.

Reflection on forms . . . sounds . . . odors . . . tastes . . . things tangible . . . ideas is delightful and agreeable to men; there desire springs up and grows, there it settles and takes root.

The Six Reflections.

This, O priests, is called the noble truth of the origin of misery.

End of the Exposition of the Origin of Misery.

And what, O priests, is the noble truth of the cessation of misery?

[372] It is the complete fading out and cessation[9] of this desire, a giving up, a loosing hold, a relinquishment, and a non-adhesion.

But where, O priests, does this desire wane and disappear? where is it broken up and destroyed?

Where anything is delightful and agreeable to men; there desire wanes and disappears, there it is broken up and destroyed.

And what is delightful and agreeable to men, where desire wanes and disappears, where it is broken up and destroyed?

The eye is delightful and agreeable to men; there desire wanes and disappears, there it is broken up and destroyed.

[Similarly respecting the other organs of sense, the six objects of sense, the six sense-consciousnesses, the six contacts, the six sensations, the six perceptions, the six thinkings, the six desires, the six reasonings, and the six reflections.]

This, O priests, is called the noble truth of the cessation of misery.

End of the Exposition of the Cessation of Misery.

And what, O priests, is the noble truth of the path leading to the cessation of misery?

[373] It is this noble eightfold path, to wit, right belief, right resolve, right speech, right behavior, right occupation, right effort, right contemplation, right concentration.

And what, O priests, is right belief?

The knowledge of misery, O priests, the knowledge of the origin of misery, the knowledge of the cessation of misery, and the knowledge of the path leading to the cessation of misery, this, O priests, is called "right belief."

And what, O priests, is right resolve?

The resolve to renounce sensual pleasures, the resolve to have malice towards none, and the resolve to harm no living creature, this, O priests, is called "right resolve."

And what, O priests, is right speech?

To abstain from falsehood, to abstain from backbiting, to abstain from harsh language, and to abstain from frivolous talk, this, O priests, is called "right speech."

And what, O priests, is right behavior?

To abstain from destroying life, to abstain from taking that which is not given one, and to abstain from immorality, this, O priests, is called "right behavior."

And what, O priests, is right occupation?

Whenever, O priests, a noble disciple, quitting a wrong occupation, gets his livelihood by a right occupation, this, O priests, is called "right occupation."

And what, O priests, is right effort?

Whenever, O priests, a priest purposes, makes an effort, heroically endeavors, applies his mind, and exerts himself that evil and demeritorious qualities not yet arisen may not arise; purposes, makes an effort, heroically endeavors, applies his mind, and exerts himself that evil and demeritorious qualities already arisen may be abandoned; purposes, makes an effort, heroically endeavors, applies his mind, and exerts himself that meritorious qualities not yet arisen may arise; purposes, makes an effort, heroically endeavors, applies his mind, and exerts himself for the preservation, retention, growth, increase, development, and perfection of meritorious qualities already arisen, this, O priest, is called "right effort."

[374] And what, O priests, is right contemplation?

Whenever, O priests, a priest lives, as respects the body, observant of the body, strenuous, conscious, contemplative, and has rid himself of lust and grief; as respects sensations, observant of sensations, strenuous, conscious, contemplative, and has rid himself of lust and grief; as respects the mind, observant of the mind, strenuous, conscious, contemplative, and has rid himself of lust and grief; as respects the elements of being, observant of the elements of being, strenuous, conscious, contemplative, and has rid himself of lust and grief, this, O priests, is called "right contemplation."

And what, O priests, is right concentration?

Whenever, O priests, a priest, having isolated himself from sensual pleasures, having isolated himself from demeritorious traits, and still exercising reasoning, still exercising reflection, enters upon the first trance which is produced by isolation and characterized by joy and happiness; when, through the subsidence of reasoning and reflection, and still retaining joy and happiness, he enters upon the second trance, which is an interior tranquilization and intentness of the thoughts, and is produced by concentration; when, through the paling of joy, indifferent, contemplative, conscious, and in the experience of bodily happiness--that state which eminent men describe when they say, "Indifferent, contemplative, and living happily"--he enters upon the third trance; when, through the abandonment of happiness, through the abandonment of misery, through the disappearance of all antecedent gladness and grief, he enters upon the fourth trance, which has neither misery nor happiness, but is contemplation as refined by indifference, this, O priests, is called "right concentration."

This, O priests, is called the noble truth of the path leading to the cessation of misery.

End of the Exposition of the Path Leading to the Cessation of Misery.

Thus he lives, either in his own person, as respects the elements of being, observant of the elements of being, or in other persons, as respects the elements of being, observant of [375] the elements of being, or both in his own person and in other persons, as respects the elements of being, observant of the elements of being; either observant of origination in the elements of being, or observant of destruction in the elements of being, or observant of both origination and destruction in the elements of being; and the recognition of the elements of being by his intent contemplation is merely to the extent of this knowledge, merely to the extent of this contemplation, and he lives unattached, nor clings to anything in the world.

Thus, O priests, does a priest live, as respects the elements of being, observant of the elements of being.

End of the Intent Contemplation of the Elements of Being.


Any one, O priests, who for seven years shall thus practise these Four Intent Contemplations, may expect one or the other of two rewards -- either he will attain to perfect knowledge in his present life, or, if at death the groups still remain, to never returning.

But setting aside, O priests, all question of seven years, any one, O priests, who for six years shall thus practise the above Four Intent Contemplations, may expect one or the other of two rewards -- either he will attain to perfect knowledge in his present life, or, if at death the groups still remain, to never returning.

But setting aside, O priests, all question of six years, . . . five years, . . . four years, . . . three years, . . . two years, . . . one year, . . . seven months, . . . six months, . . . five months, . . . four months, . . . three months, . . . two months, . . . one month, . . . a half month, any one, O priests, who for seven days shall thus practise the above Four Intent Contemplations, may expect one or the other of two rewards--either he will attain to perfect knowledge in his present life, or, if at death the groups still remain, to never returning.

This, therefore, is the meaning of my opening words: "Priests, there is but one way open to mortals for the attainment [376] of purity, for the overcoming of sorrow and lamentation, for the abolition of misery and grief, for the acquisition of the correct rule of conduct, for the realization of Nirvana, and that is the Four Intent Contemplations."

Thus spake The Blessed One, and the delighted priests applauded the speech of The Blessed One.

 

END OF THE SERMON ON THE FOUR INTENT CONTEMPLATIONS.

 


[1]The Sumangala Vilāsinī, Cushing MS., Folio dhi: And now, just as a skilful basket-maker, desirous of making coarse and fine mats, and baskets, crates, hampers, and other like ware, might divide a large stalk of bamboo into four parts, and then take some one of these sections, split it, and make the required articles; in exactly the same way The Blessed One, desirous of establishing for living beings a number of avenues to proficiency, divides Right Contemplation, which is in fact but one, into four parts based on the subject-matter, saying, There are Four Intent Contemplations. And what are the four? Whenever, O priests, a priest lives, as respects the body, observant of the body, etc., and then takes one of these Intent Contemplations and analyzing the body begins his exposition of the subject with the words, And how, O priests.

[2]Folio dhī: Retiring to the forest, or to the foot of a tree, or to an uninhabited spot--This explains what dwelling-places should be chosen as appropriate to the exercise of intent contemplation, For in the case of this priest, his mind, having long spent itself on forms and the other objects of sense, does not readily apply itself to a subject of meditation: like a chariot harnessed to vicious oxen, it runs off the track. Therefore, even as a cowherd, desirous of breaking in a calf vicious from having been brought up on the milk of a vicious cow, will lead it away from its mother and tie it with a halter to a post planted somewhere out of her way; and even as the calf springing hither and thither and finding itself unable to escape will sit or lie down close by the post; in exactly the same way this priest, desirous of breaking in his mind, spoiled from having been brought up on the sweets of forms and of the other objects of sense, must resort to the forest, or to the foot of a tree, or to an uninhabited spot, and there with the bond of contemplation bind it to some object of intent contemplation, as it were to a post. Thus will his mind, springing hither and thither and finding none of its accustomed objects, be unable to break the bond of contemplation and escape, and will settle down and lie close to the object of meditation, and attain either to neighborhood-concentration or to attainment-concentration. Therefore has it been said by the ancients:

"As he who wished to train a calf
Would first him fasten to a post;
So should one fasten one's own mind
Firmly by contemplation's bond."

Thus such dwelling-places are appropriate to these exercises. Therefore have I stated: "This explains what dwelling-places should be chosen as appropriate to the exercise of intent contemplation."

[3]Folios dhī-dhu: In thus training himself, he obtains the four trances through the reflex of his respirations. And rising from his trance he investigates either his expirations and inspirations, or else the members of his trances. He who makes use of his respirations first investigates form, saying,

"On what are these expirations and inspirations based? They are based on matter, and matter is the material body, and the material body is the four elements and form derivative from them." Secondly: "Name rests on the same [four elements] with the addition of contact." When he has thus grasped name, he searches for its dependence, and perceives ignorance and the rest of Dependent Origination, and thinking, "Name and form are merely dependence or else sprung from dependence; there is nothing else to form the living entity or Ego," he leaves all doubt behind, and strengthening his insight by the application of the Three Characteristics to dependent name and form, by degrees attains to saintship. This is how this priest sets out on his way towards saintship.

He who makes use of his trance determines name and form in the following manner: "On what are the members of my trance based? They are based on matter, and matter is the material body, and the members of my trance are form in the material body." Then he searches for the dependence of name and form, and perceives ignorance etc., or the formula of dependence, and thinking, "Name and form are merely dependence or else sprung from dependence; there is nothing else to form the living entity or Ego," he leaves all doubt behind, and strengthening his insight by the application of the Three Characteristics to dependent name and form, by degrees attains to saintship. This is how this priest sets out on his way towards saintship.

[4]Folio dhu: And the recognition of the body by his intent contemplation: --Only a body is recognized by his intent contemplation, but no living entity, no Ego, no woman, no man, no self, nor anything pertaining to a self, no I, no mine, no person nor anything pertaining to a person.

[5]Folios dhu-dhū: Having thus made of the respirations one division of the observation of the body, he now of the bodily postures makes another, and begins with the words, But again.

Now it is true that dogs, jackals, and other animals, when they walk, have knowledge of their walking; however, it is not with respect to knowledge of that kind that this is spoken. For such knowledge as that does not abandon the assumption of a living entity, and does not show up that belief; nor is any subject of meditation present, nor any intent contemplation. But the knowledge of this priest abandons the assumption of a living entity, shows up that belief; and a subject of meditation is present, and intent contemplation. For this was spoken with respect to complete knowledge, comprising such points as, "Who is it walks? Whose walking is it? What makes it walk?" And similarly also in regard to standing and the other bodily postures.

Now when it is asked, "Who is it walks?" the answer is that it is no living entity or Ego that walks. And when it is asked, "Whose walking is it?" the answer is that it is not the walking of any living entity or Ego. And when it is asked, "What makes it walk?" the answer is that walking takes place through the action of the mind, and permeation by the windy element. The following, therefore, is what he thoroughly comprehends: The thought of walking arises, and that produces the windy element, and the windy element shows itself in the action. The pulling forward of the whole body brought about by the action of the mind and permeation by the windy element is what is called walking. The explanation of standing and of the other bodily postures is similar. As follows: --

The thought of standing arises, and that produces the windy element, and the windy element shows itself in the action. The erectness of the whole body brought about by the action of the mind and permeation by the windy element is what is called standing.

The thought of sitting arises, and that produces the windy element, and the windy element shows itself in the action. The drawing in of the lower part of the body, and the erectness of the upper part brought about by the action of the mind and permeation by the windy element is what is called sitting.

The thought of lying down arises, and that produces the windy element, and the windy element shows itself in the action. The stretching out of the whole body horizontally brought about by the action of the mind and permeation by the windy element is what is called lying down. When he has thoroughly comprehended this, he thinks as follows: --

"They say it is a living entity that walks, it is a living entity that stands; but is there any living entity to walk or to stand? There is not. But even as people speak of a cart's going, though there is nothing corresponding to the word cart to go or to stand, yet when the driver has yoked up four oxen and drives them, we then, by a mere convention of speech, talk of the cart's going or of the cart's standing; in exactly the same way the body on account of its lack of intelligence resembles the cart, the impulsions of the thoughts resemble the oxen, the thought resembles the driver, and when the thought of walking or of standing arises, the windy element arises and shows itself in the actions, and walking etc. are brought about by this action of the mind and permeation by the windy element, Accordingly, to say: 'It is a living entity that walks, it is a living entity that stands; I walk, I stand,' is but a mere convention of speech, Therefore has it been said, --

"'As ships are by the wind impelled,
As arrows by the bow-string's force,
Likewise this body is impelled,
Smit by the windy element.
 
"'Machines are geared to move by ropes;
So, too, this body's enginery
Is governed by a mental rope
Whene'er it stands, whene'er it sits.
 
"'What living entity is here
That can by its intrinsic might
Without dependence or a cause
Make shift to stand or walk about?'"

Therefore it is to be understood that it is through perceiving that walking etc. have a dependence and are produced by causes that he in walking thoroughly comprehends his walking, and in standing . . . sitting . . . lying down thoroughly comprehends his lying down.

[6] Folio dhe: Just as a butcher, while rearing a cow, while leading her to the place of slaughter, and while, after bringing her there and binding her, he is placing her in position, slaughtering her, and handling her after she has been slaughtered, never ceases to think of her as a cow so long as he has not cut her up and divided her into pieces. But when he has divided her into pieces, and has seated himself ready to sell, he ceases to think of her as a cow, and thinks of her as only so much meat. He does not think, "I am selling cow; my customers come to me for cow;" but, "I am selling meat; my customers come to me for meat." In exactly the same way, while a man is an ignorant, unconverted person, whether he be a householder or a member of the Order, he never ceases to think of himself as a living entity or individual, until such time as he takes this body, whatever it may be doing, or however it may be situated, and analyzing it considers it according to the elements of which it is composed. But when he has considered it according to the elements of which it is composed, he ceases to think of it as a living entity or individual, and thinks of it as only so many elements.

[7] In treating of the contemplation of the body as one of the forty subjects of meditation (see page 292), Buddhaghosa, in chapter viii. of the Visuddhi-Magga, takes up only the Section on Loathsomeness. He mentions the First Intent Contemplation as above described, but says that the Section on Breathing forms a subject of meditation by itself (the contemplation of breathing), that the Section on Bodily Postures, the Section on the Four Accurate Comprehensions, and the Section on the Elements belong under Wisdom, and the Nine Cemeteries belong in a measure under Wisdom and in a measure under the Impurities.

[8] Folio dhāu: In the observation of the body The Blessed One treated solely of form; in the observation of the sensations and of thoughts, solely of the other groups; but now with the words, And how, O priests, he begins the treatment of form and of the other groups mixed. Or, again, in the observation of the body it is only the form-group that is treated of, in the observation of the sensations it is only the sensation-group, and in the observation of thoughts it is only the consciousness-group; but now with the words, And how, O priests, he begins the treatment of the perception-group, and of the predisposition-group.

[9] Folio nāi: Complete fading out and cessation, etc. are all simply synonyms for Nirvana. For in Nirvana there is a complete fading out and cessation of desire; therefore is it called the complete fading out and cessation of that desire. In Nirvana, also, desire decays, is relinquished, does not adhere; therefore is Nirvana called a letting go, a loosing hold, a relinquishment, and a non-adhesion. For Nirvana is but one, but its names based on its oppositions are many. To wit, complete fading out, complete cessation, a letting go, a loosing hold, a relinquishment, a non-adhesion, the perishing of passion, the perishing of hatred, the perishing of infatuation, the perishing of desire, non-origination, the non-existent, the unconditioned, the desireless, the non-production of karma, deliverance from conception, deliverance from rebirth, deliverance from renewed existence, the unborn, the undecaying, deliverance from disease, the deathless, the sorrowless, deliverance from lamentation, deliverance from despair, the incorrupt, etc.

 


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