Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikāya
III. Upari-Paṇṇāsa
2. Anupada Vagga

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

Further Dialogues of the Buddha
Volume II

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

London
Humphrey Milford
Oxford University Press
1927
Public Domain

Sutta 118

Ānāpāna-Sati Suttaɱ

On Breathing Exercises

 


[78] [199]

[1][pts][than][ntbb][olds][nno][upal] THUS have I heard:

Once when the Lord was staying at Sāvatthī in the Old Pleasaunce
in the palace of Migara's mother,
with numbers of well-known Elders and disciples, -
the reverend Sāriputta,
Mahā-Moggallāna,
Mahā-Kassapa,
Mahā-Kaccāyana,
Mahā-Koṭṭhita,
Mahā Kappina,
Mahā-Cunda,

[79] Anuruddha,
Revata
and Ānanda,
together with other well-known Elders and disciples.

At the time the Almsmen who were Elders
were instructing and teaching the novices, -
some taking ten,
others twenty
or thirty
or forty;
and under this instruction and teaching
the novices grew to higher and higher specific attainments.

On the Sabbath of the full-moon
at the end of the rains
the Lord was sitting in the open
in the moon- [200] light,
with the Confraternity gathered around him,
when, observing silence to reign among them all,
he addressed the Almsmen in these words:

I find content in this vocation;
in it 1 find contentment of heart.

Wherefore, Almsmen,
strive ever more and more zealously
to attain the yet unattained,
to gain the yet ungained
and to realize the yet unrealized.

I look to be back here again
in Sāvatthī by Komudi,
the full-moon day of the fourth month.

When it reached the ears
of the Almsmen belonging to that country
that the Lord was expected back in Sāvatthī at this date,
they came into the city to see the Lord;
the Elders grew keener and keener
in instructing and teaching each their novices, -
ten,
twenty,
thirty
or forty of them
as the case might be;
and under this instruction and teaching
the novices [80] grew to higher and higher specific attainments.

On the sabbath of Komudi,
on the fifteenth,
the full-moon day of the fourth month,
the Lord was sitting in the open in the moonlight,
with the Confraternity gathered around him,
when, observing silence to reign among them all,
he addressed the Almsmen in these words: -

There is no talking,
all talk is stilled in this assembly
which is set (as it were) in a shining mere.

Such is this Confraternity of Almsmen -
or a company like this,
-that it is worthy of oblations,
offerings,
gifts
and homage
and is the richest field
in which to sow the seed of merit.

Such is this Confraternity
and such this company
that a little thing given to it
thereby becomes great
and a great thing
becomes greater still.

Such a Confraternity
or Company as this
would be hard to find in the whole world.

To see such a Confraternity
and company as this
it is worth journeying many a league
carrying the burden of provisions for the journey.

Such is this Confraternity
and such is this company.

Within this Confraternity there are arahats, -
Almsmen in whom the Cankers are dead,
who have lived the highest life,
whose task is done,
who have cast off their burthen,
who have won their weal,
who have destroyed all bonds
that bound them to the [201] ceaseless round of existence,
who have found the Deliverance of utter Knowledge.

Within this Confraternity
there are Almsmen who,
by destroying the five bonds
which bind men to the sensuous world,
will pass hence
to appear spontaneously elsewhere,
never to return thence to earth.

Within this Confraternity
are Almsmen who,
by destroying the three bonds
and also by minlshing passion malice and delusion,
have become Once-returners and,
on their last return to this world,
will [81] make an end of Ill.

Within this Confraternity
there are Almsmen who,
by destroying the three bonds,
are launched on the stream of salvation,
safe from any evil doom hereafter,
assured of their future,
destined to find Enlightenment.

Within this Confraternity
there are Almsmen who live
in the practice of the four mindful meditations, -
of the four exertions -
of the four bases of psychic power -
of the five faculties of sense -
of the five forces -
of the seven factors of enlightenment -
of the Noble Eightfold Path -
of friendliness to all -
[82] of compassion for all -
of rejoicing with all -
of poised equanimity -
of pondering on foulness -
and on the perception of transiency.

Within this Confraternity
there are Almsmen
who live in the practice
of cultivating mindfulness by breathing exercises.

If cultivated and developed,
mindfulness by breathing
is very fruitful and profitable;
- it perfects the four bases of mindfulness,
which, being perfected,
perfect the seven factors of enlightenment,
which, being perfected,
perfect in turn Deliverance by comprehension.

How, Almsmen, is mindfulness by breathing cultivated and developed
so as to prove very fruitful and profitable? -

Take the case of an Almsman who,
in the forest
or at the foot of a tree
or in an abode of solitude,
sits cross-legged
with body erect,
with mindfulness as the objective he sets before himself.

In mindfulness he takes in breath
and in mindfulness he exhales it;
he knows precisely what he is doing
when he is inhaling or exhaling
either a long breath
or a short breath;
he schools himself,
as he draws his breath in and out,
to be alive [202] to his body as a whole -
or to still bodily factors -
or to experience contentment -
or [83] to experience wellbeing;
he schools himself,
in drawing his breath in and out,
to experience the heart's several factors -
or to still them -
or lo experience the heart as a whole -
or to satisfy the heart -
or to keep the heart stedfast -
or to set the heart free.

He schools himself,
in drawing his breath in and out,
to dwell on the impermanence of things -
or on passionlessness -
or on the cessation of things -
or on eschewing them. -

This is how mindfulness in breathing
is cultivated and developed
so as to prove very fruitful and profitable.

How is mindfulness by breathing
cultivated and developed
so as to perfect the four bases of mindfulness? -

While he is engaged in inhaling or exhaling,
with a precise knowledge of what he is doing,
either when inhaling or when exhaling
either a long breath or a short breath,
when schooling himself
either to experience the body as a whole
or to still the several bodily factors, -
all this time,
in his contemplation of the body as an aggregation,
the Almsman dwells ardent,
alive to all he is doing,
and mindful, -
quit of all worldly wants and discontents.

Among the corporeal elements
(earth,
water,
fire,
and air)
I classify breath inhaled or exhaled.

Therefore the Almsman
who contemplates the body as an aggregation,
dwells the while ardent,
alive to what he is doing,
and mindful, -
quit of all worldly wants and discontent.

While [84] he is engaged in schooling himself in his breathing
to experience contentment
or well-being,
or to experience the heart's several factors
or to still them, -
all this time,
in his contemplation of feelings as an aggregation,
the Almsman dwells ardent,
alive to all he is doing,
and mindful, -
quit of all worldly wants and discontent.

Among feelings
I classify thorough attention
to breath inhaled or exhaled.

Therefore the Almsman
who contemplates feeling as an aggregation,
dwells the while ardent,
alive to all he is doing,
and mindful, -
quit of all worldly wants and discontent.

While he is engaged in schooling himself,
as he inhales or exhales,
[203] to experience the heart as a whole,
or to satisfy the heart,
or to keep the heart stedfast,
or to set the heart free, -
all this time,
in his contemplation of the heart as an aggregation,
the Almsman dwells ardent,
alive to all he is doing,
and mindful, -
quit of all worldly wants and discontent;
the man of distracted mind,
say I,
cannot develop mindfulness in breathing.

While he is engaged in schooling himself,
as he inhales or exhales,
to dwell either on the impermanence of things
or on passionlessness
or on the cessation of things
or on eschewing them, -
all this time,
in his contemplation of mental objects as an aggregation,
the Almsman dwells ardent,
alive to everything,
mindful,
quit of all worldly wants and discontent.

Discerning by understanding
the abandonment of all wants and discontent,
[85] he surveys this theme exhaustively.

Therefore,
in his contemplation of mental objects as an aggregation,
the Almsman dwells ardent,
alive to all he is doing,
mindful,
quit of all worldly wants and discontent. -

This is how mindfulness in breathing
is cultivated and developed
so as to perfect the four bases of mindfulness.

How are the four bases of mindfulness
cultivated and developed
so as to perfect the seven factors of enlightenment? -

While,
in his contemplation of the body as an aggregation,
the Almsman dwells ardent,
alive to all he is doing,
mindful,
quit of all worldly wants and discontent,
all this time
his mindfulness is growing fixed and undistracted,
with the result meanwhile
that the factor of enlightenment which consists of mindfulness is implanted,
that the Almsman develops it,
and that it moves on to perfect development.

Living thus mindful,
he examines and scrutinizes, and analyzes
the mental object
with his understanding;
and as he is doing so,
the analytical factor of enlightenment
is meantime being implanted,
is being developed by the Almsman,
and is moving on to its perfect development,
with the concomitant result
that indomitable zeal is implanted,
and that this further factor of enlightenment is implanted,
is developed by the Almsman
and moves on to its perfect development.

[204] To the man with zeal implanted in him
comes satisfaction without alloy,
and concomitantly [86] the factor of enlightenment
which consists in satisfaction
is implanted is developed by the Almsman,
and moves on to its perfect development.

The man with his mind satisfied
comes to enjoy tranquillity
alike of body and of heart,
and concomitandy the factor of tranquillity is implanted,
is developed by the Almsman,
and moves on to its perfect development.

The man with tranquillity and well-being of body
finds concentration of heart,
and concomitantly the concentration factor of enlightenment is implanted,
is developed by the Almsman,
and moves on to its perfect development.

He surveys exhaustively as his theme
his heart thus sted-fast,
and concomitantly the factor of poised equanimity is implanted,
is developed by the Almsman,
and moves on to its perfect development.

(And as it is with his contemplation of the body,
so it is with his contemplation of feelings -
of the heart -
and of mental objects
[87], each resulting in the perfect development
of the several factors of enlightenment). -

This is how the four bases of mindfulness
are cultivated and developed
so as to perfect the seven factors of enlightenment.

[88] How are the seven factors of enlightenment
cultivated and developed
so as to perfect Deliverance by comprehension? -

Take an Almsman who develops in turn
each of the aforesaid seven factors of enlightenment, -
each dependent on aloofness passionlessness and stilling,
each maturing by Renunciation. -

This is how the seven factors of enlightenment
are cultivated and developed
so as to perfect Deliverance by comprehension.

Thus spoke the Lord.

Glad at heart,
those Almsmen rejoiced in what the Lord had said.


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