Majjhima Nikaya


[Site Map]  [Home]  [Sutta Indexes]  [Glossology]  [Site Sub-Sections]

The Pali is transliterated as IAST Unicode (āīūṃṅñṭḍṇḷ). Alternatives:
[ ASCII (aiumnntdnl) | Mobile (āīūŋńñţđņļ) | Velthuis (aaiiuu.m'n~n.t.d.n.l) ]

 

Majjhima Nikāya
II. Majjhima Paṇṇāsa
2. Bhikkhu Vagga

Sacred Books of the Buddhists
Volume V
Dialogues of the Buddha
Part IV

Further Dialogues of the Buddha
Volume I

Translated from the Pali
by Lord Chalmers
G.C.B.
Sometime Governor of Ceylon

London
Humphrey Milford
Oxford University Press
1926
Public Domain

Sutta 62

Mahā-Rāhul'ovāda Suttaɱ

Breathing Exercises

 


[420] [300]

[1][pts][than][upal] THUS have I heard:

One morning when the Lord was staying at Sāvatthī in Jeta's grove in Anāthapiṇḍika's pleasaunce,
he went, duly robed and bowl in hand,
into the city for alms.

Behind followed the reverend Rāhula, [421] duly robed and bowl in hand.

Without looking round, the Lord addressed Rāhula as follows:

All matter (rūpa) - past present or future,
within or without,
gross or subtile,
high or low,
far or near -
should be regarded with full comprehension that
'this is not mine' -
'not I' -
'no self of mine.'

Matter only, Lord?

Only matter, Blessed One?

Note that here Chalmers has changed his translation of saŋkhārā from 'plastic forces' to 'constituents' which is hard to rationalize.

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

Not only matter, Rāhula,
but also feeling,
perception,
the constituents
and consciousness.

Who possibly, said Rāhula,
could go to the village for alms
on the day he has heard an exhortation from the Lord's own lips?

And thereupon he turned back
and seated himself under a tree,
cross legged and with body erect,
alert in mindfulness.

Seeing him so seated, the reverend Sāriputta addressed him, saying:

Aim, Rāhula, at developing the mindfulness
which comes from inhaling and exhaling,
for this, if developed and fostered,
yields a rich harvest
and proves of great avail.

Rising up towards evening from his meditations,
Rāhula sought out the Lord
and after salutations took a seat to one side,
asking how that mindfulness which comes from inhaling and exhaling
was produced and fostered
so as to yield a rich harvest
and prove of great avail.

Rāhula, everything personal and referable to an individual
which is hard or solid or derived therefrom -
such as the hair of the head or body, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, sinews, bones, marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, pleura, spleen, lungs, inwards, bowels, stomach, faeces,
together with everything else personal and referable to an individual
which is hard or solid or derived therefrom -
all this makes up what is called the personal [301] earth-element,
and, in combination with the external earth-element
makes up the totality of the earth-element.

The right way to regard this as it really is
and to comprehend it aright,
is to say -
This is not mine,
This is not I,
This is no self of mine.

[422] So regarding and comprehending it,
a man turns from the earth-element
in disgust and loathing of heart.

What next is the water-element?|| ||

It may be either personal or external.

If personal and referable to an individual,
it embraces everything which is water or watery or derived therefrom -
such as bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, serum, saliva, mucus, synovial fluid and urine,
together with everything else personal and referable to an individual,
which is water or watery or derived therefrom.

All this makes up what is called the personal water-element,
and, in combination with the external water-element,
makes up the totality of the water-element.

The right way to regard this as it really is
and to comprehend it aright
is to say -
This is not mine,
This is not I,
This is no self of mine.

So regarding and comprehending it,
a man turns from the water-element
in disgust and loathing of heart.

The fire-element similarly
is either personal or external.

If personal, it embraces everything which is fire or fiery or derived therefrom, -
such as whatever heats, consumes or burns up,
or whatever wholly transmutes food and drink in digestion,
or anything else which,
being personal and referable to an individual,
is fire or fiery or is derived therefrom.

All this is called the personal fire-element,
and, in combination with the external fire-element,
makes up the totality of the fire-element.

The right way to regard ...
loathing of heart.

Likewise, the air-element is either personal or external.

If personal, it embraces everything personal and referable to an individual
which is air or airy or derived therefrom, -
such as wind discharged upwards or downwards,
wind in the abdomen or belly,
vapours that traverse the several members,
inhalings and [302] exhalings of breath,
together with everything else which,
being personal and referable to an individual,
is air or airy or derived therefrom.

All this is called the personal air-element,
and, in combination with the external air-element,
makes up the totality of the air-element.

The right way to regard ... [423] loathing of heart.

Lastly, there is the space-element,[1]
which is also personal or external.

If personal, it is either space or spacious or derived therefrom, -
such as the auditory or nasal orifices,
or the portals of the mouth,
or the channels by which victuals and drink are either swallowed or repose or pass out of the body lower down,
or aught else,
that, being personal and referable to an individual,
is space or spacious or derived therefrom.

All this is called the personal space-element,
and, in combination with the external space-element,
makes up the totality of the space element.

The right way to regard ...
loathing of heart.

Grow like unto the earth, Rāhula;
for, as you do so,
no sensory impressions,
agreeable or disagreeable,
will grip hold of your heart and stick there.

Just as men cast on the earth's surface
things clean and things unclean,
ordure, urine, spittle,
pus and gore,
and yet the earth is not troubled thereby
nor moved to disgust and loathing, -
even so should you grow like unto the earth;
for, as you do so,
no sensory impressions,
agreeable or disagreeable,
will lay hold of your heart and stick there.

Grow like unto water;
for, as you do so ...
stick there.

Just as men cast into water
things clean and things unclean ...
[424] and stick there.

Grow like unto fire;
for, as you do ...
and stick there.

Grow like the wind;
for, as you do,
no sensory impressions, agreeable or disagreeable,
will grip hold [303] of your heart and stick there.

Just as the wind blows away things clean and unclean,
ordure, urine, spittle,
pus and gore,
and yet the wind is not troubled thereby
nor moved to disgust and loathing, -
even so should you grow like unto the wind;
for, as you do so,
no sensory impressions,
agreeable or disagreeable,
will grip hold of your heart and stick there.

Grow like space;
for, as you do so,
no sensory impressions,
agreeable or disagreeable,
will grip hold of your mind and stick there.

For, just as space abides nowhere,
even so should you grow like space;
for, as you do so,
no sensory impressions,
agreeable or disagreeable,
will grip hold of your mind and stick there.

Grow in loving-kindness;
for, as you do so,
malevolence will pass away.

Grow in compassion;
for, as you do so,
vexation will pass away.

Grow in gladness over others' welfare;
for, as you do so,
aversions will pass away.

Grow in poised equanimity;
for, as you do so,
all repugnance will pass away.

Grow in contemplation of the body's corruption;
for, as you do so,
passion will pass away.

Grow in perception of the fleeting nature of things;
[425] for, as you do,
the pride of self will pass away.

Grow in the mindfulness which comes from ordered breathing;
for, this, if developed and fostered,
yields a rich harvest
and proves of great avail.

Take the case of an Almsman who,
betaking himself to the jungle
or the foot of a tree
or to some abode of solitude,
there sits cross-legged
and with body erect,
alert in mindfulness.

Mindfully he inhales,
and mindfully he exhales his breath.

When exhaling a deep breath,
he knows precisely what he is doing,
as he does too when inhaling a deep breath,
or when exhaling or inhaling a shallow breath.

In the process of drawing his breath either in or out,
he schools himself either to be alive
to all bodily impressions -
or to still the several factors of body -
or to take zest therein -
or to have a sense of well-being;
he schools himself either to be alive
to the [304] heart's several factors -
or to still them -
or to be alive to the heart (as a whole) -
or to still the heart -
or to give it full play -
or to calm it -
or to bring it Deliverance;
he schools himself in breathing
to dwell on the impermanence of things,
or on passionlessness,
or on elimination,
or on Renunciation.

This, Rāhula, is how mindfulness in ordered breathing
is fostered and developed
so as to yield a rich harvest
and to prove of great avail.

With mindfulness in breathing so fostered [426] and developed,
a man breathes his last wittingly
and not unwittingly.

Thus spoke the Lord.

Glad at heart,
the reverend Rāhula rejoiced in what the Lord had said.

 


[1] This does not occur in Sutta No. 28, which gives only the preceding four elements (cattari mahā-bhūta). Infra, in Suttas Nos. 112, 115 and 140 (cf. D. III, 247, A. I, 175 and A. III. 290) viññāṇa-dhātu is added to the five elements here specified.


Contact:
E-mail
Copyright Statement   Webmaster's Page