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 119

Kāyagatā-Sati Suttaɱ

Meditation on the Body

 


[88] [205]

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

Once when the Lord was staying at Sāvatthī in Jeta's grove in Anāthapiṇḍika's pleasaunce,
and a great number of Almsmen
were sitting in company together in the hall
after their meal
on return from their alms-round,
the following talk arose among them: -

It is wonderful, sirs,
it is marvellous,
to what a pitch the Lord
who knows and sees,
the arahat all-enlightened,
has cultivated and developed
that mindfulness of body
which is called the mindfulness
abundant in fruit and blessings!

Here the talk broke off;
for, when at evening
the Lord arose from his meditations,
he came to the seat set for him in hall,
and asked what subject had engaged them
in their conclave
and what talk had been broken off.

[89] They told him,
adding that here the talk had broken off,
as the Lord appeared.

How, Almsmen,
is mindfulness of body
cultivated and developed
so as to abound in fruit and blessings? -

Take 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 to his body as a whole
or to still bodily factors.

As he dwells thus unflagging,
ardent,
and purged of self,
all worldly thoughts
that idly come and go
are abandoned,
and with their abandonment
his heart within
grows stablished and planted fast,
settled and concentrated. -

In this way,
an Almsman develops mindfulness of body.

Walking or sitting or lying down,
in every posture [206] of his body,
he knows precisely what he is doing.

As he dwells thus unflagging,
ardent,
and purged of self,
all worldly thoughts
that idly come and go
are abandoned,
and with their abandonment
his heart within
grows stablished and planted fast,
settled and concentrated. -

In this way,
an Almsman develops mindfulness of body.

[90] Again, the Almsman is always mindful and purposeful
whether in going forward or back,
in looking before or behind,
in drawing in or stretching out his limbs,
in conduct of cloak, bowl and robes,
in eating and drinking,
in chewing and tasting,
in attending to the needs of nature,
in walking or standing still,
in sitting or in lying down,
asleep or awake,
speaking or silent.

As he dwells thus unflagging,
ardent,
and purged of self,
all worldly thoughts
that idly come and go
are abandoned,
and with their abandonment
his heart within
grows stablished and planted fast,
settled and concentrated. -

In this way,
an Almsman develops mindfulness of body.

Again, the Almsman reflects on this self-same body,
from the soles of the foot
to the crown of the head,
as a thing bounded by skin
and full of various impurities.

There is in this body, says he,
hair of head or body,
nails and teeth,
skin and flesh,
sinews, bones and marrow,
kidneys, heart and liver,
pleura,
spleen,
lungs,
inwards and bowels,
stomach and feces,
bile,
phlegm,
pus,
blood,
sweat,
fat,
tears,
serum,
saliva,
mucus,
synovial fluid and urine.

Just as if there was a two-mouthed sack
full of various grains -
such as rice and paddy,
beans and vetches,
sesame and husked rice -,
and a man with eyes to see
were to reflect as he emptied the sack
that here was rice,
there was paddy,
here were beans,
there were vetches,
here was sesame
and there husked rice; -
in just the same way
does the Almsman reflect on this self-same body,
from the sole of the foot
to the crown of the head,
as a thing bounded by skin
and full of various impurities.

There is in this body, says he,
hair of head or body,
nails and teeth,
skin and flesh,
sinews, bones and marrow,
kidneys, heart and liver,
pleura,
spleen,
lungs,
inwards and bowels,
stomach and feces,
bile,
phlegm,
pus,
blood,
sweat,
fat,
tears,
serum,
saliva,
mucus,
synovial fluid and urine.

As he dwells thus unflagging,
ardent,
and purged of self,
all worldly thoughts
that idly come and go
are abandoned,
and with their abandonment
his heart within
grows stablished and planted fast,
settled and concentrated. -

In this way,
an Almsman develops mindfulness of body.

[91] Again, the Almsman reflects on this self-same body,
whatsoever its position and posture,
from the point of view of its elements,
as containing within it the four elements
of earth,
water,
fire
and air.

Just as a competent butcher
or his apprentice,
when he has killed a cow,
might sit at the cross-roads with the carcase
and cut up into joints,
even so does the Almsman
reflect on this self-same body,
whatsoever its position or posture,
from the point of view of its elements,
as containing within it the four elements.

[207] As he dwells thus unflagging,
ardent,
and purged of self,
all worldly thoughts
that idly come and go
are abandoned,
and with their abandonment
his heart within
grows stablished and planted fast,
settled and concentrated. -

In this way,
an Almsman develops mindfulness of body.

Again, just as if the Almsman
were actually looking on a festering corpse
after one
two
or three days' exposure in a charnel-ground,
even so does he sum up this self-same body
as having these properties
and this nature
and this future before it.

As he dwells thus unflagging,
ardent,
and purged of self,
all worldly thoughts
that idly come and go
are abandoned,
and with their abandonment
his heart within
grows stablished and planted fast,
settled and concentrated. -

In this way,
an Almsman develops mindfulness of body.

Again, just as if the Almsman
were actually looking on a corpse
exposed in the charnel-ground
and there being devoured
by crows
or falcons
or vultures
or dogs
or jackals
or divers worms,
even so does he sum up this self-same body
as having these properties
and this nature
and this future before it.

As he dwells thus unflagging,
ardent,
and purged of self,
all worldly thoughts
that idly come and go
are abandoned,
and with their abandonment
his heart within
grows stablished and planted fast,
settled and concentrated. -

In this way,
an Almsman develops mindfulness of body.

[92] Again, just as if the Almsman
were actually looking on a corpse
exposed in the charnel-ground,
showing as a chain of bones
either still with flesh and blood and sinews
to bind them together,
or with only smears of the flesh and blood left
with the bones and sinews,
or with the flesh and blood entirely gone,
or with sinews gone
and only the bones left scattered around,
here a hand and there a foot,
here a leg and there an arm,
here the pelvis,
there the spine
and there the skull, -
even so does he sum up this self-same body
as having these properties
and this nature
and this future before it.

As he dwells thus unflagging,
ardent,
and purged of self,
all worldly thoughts
that idly come and go
are abandoned,
and with their abandonment
his heart within
grows stablished and planted fast,
settled and concentrated. -

In this way,
an Almsman develops mindfulness of body.

Again, just as if the Almsman
were actually looking on a corpse
exposed in the charnel-ground,
with the bones whitening like sea-shells
or piled in a heap
as the years roll by
or crumbled to dust, -
even so does he sum up this self-same body
as having these properties
and this nature
and this future before it.

As he dwells thus unflagging,
ardent,
and purged of self,
all worldly thoughts
that idly come and go
are abandoned,
and with their abandonment
his heart within
grows stablished and planted fast,
settled and concentrated. -

In this way,
an Almsman develops mindfulness of body.

Again, the Almsman,
divested of lusts
and of wrong dispositions,
enters on,
and abides in,
the First Ecstasy
[93] with all its zest and satisfaction, -
a state bred of inward aloofness but not divorced from observation and reflection.

Rising above reasoning and reflection,
he enters on,
and abides in,
the Second Ecstasy
with all its zest and satisfaction, -
a state bred of rapt concentration,
above all observation and reflection,
a state whereby the heart is focussed
and tranquillity reigns within.

By shedding the emotion of zest,
he enters on,
and abides in,
the Third Ecstasy,
with its poised equanimity,
mindful and self-possessed,
feeling in his frame
the satisfaction of which the Noble say
that poise and mindfulness bring abiding satisfaction.

By putting from him both satisfaction and dissatisfaction,
and by shedding the joys and sorrows he used to feel,
he enters on,
and abides in,
[94] the Fourth Ecstasy, -
the state that,
knowing neither satisfaction nor dissatisfaction,
is the consummate purity
of poised equanimity and mindfulness.

As he dwells thus unflagging,
ardent,
and purged of self,
all worldly thoughts
that idly come and go
are abandoned,
and with their abandonment
his heart within
grows stablished and planted fast,
settled and concentrated. -

In this way,
an Almsman develops mindfulness of body.

[208] If any Almsman whatsoever
cultivates and develops mindfulness of body,
deep into his bosom
sink all right dispositions
into which knowledge enters,
- even as streams which flow down to the sea
sink into the bosom of the ocean
which the mind's eye surveys.

If any Almsman does not cultivate and develop mindfulness of body,
Māra gains access;
Māra can enter into him.

It is just as if a man
flung a heavy stone
into a mass of wet clay.

Would it find access?

Yes, sir.

[95] Just in the same way,
if an Almsman does not cultivate and develop mindfulness of body,
Māra gains access;
Māra can enter into him.

It is just as if there were a dry and sapless stick
and a man came along
and took it for his kindling wood
to light a fire with
and make a blaze.

If he did so,
could he by rubbing it make his fire burn up?

Yes, sir.

In just the same way,
if an Almsman does not cultivate and develop mindfulness of the body,
Māra gains access;
Māra can enter into him.

It is just like an empty water-jar
on its stand with nothing in it
and a man coming up to it with a load of water.

Nevermind.

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

Could he shoot his load into it?

Yes, sir.

In just the same way,
if an Almsman does not cultivate and develop mindfulness of body,
Māra gains access;
Msra can enter into him.

But if the Almsman does cultivate
and does develop mindfulness of body,
Māra cannot gain access
or enter into him.

It is just like a man throwing a light ball of string
against the solid timbers of the door-posts.

Would it find access?

No, sir.

It is just the same with the Almsman
who has cultivated and has developed mindfulness of body;-Māra cannot gain access or enter into him.

It is as if there were a wet stick
with the sap still in it,
and a man came along
and took it for his kindling wood
to light [209] a fire and make a blaze.

[96] If he did so,
could he by rubbing it
make his fire burn up?

No, sir.

It is just the same with the Almsman
who has cultivated and has developed mindfulness of body; -
Māra cannot gain access
or enter into him.

It is just like a filled water-pot on its stand,
full of water to the brim
so that a crow could drink out of it.

If now a man came along
with a load of water,
could he shoot his load into it?

No, sir.

It is just the same with the Almsman
who has cultivated and has developed mindfulness of body;-Māra cannot gain access
or enter into him.

If any Almsman whatsoever
has cultivated and developed mindfulness of body,
then, in each and every intellectually realizable mental object
to which he applies his mind
for its intellectual realization,
in every case
he comes to be an eye-witness thereof
face to face,
if there be an exercise of mindfulness.

It is just like a square pond
in a level expanse of ground,
with embanked sides
and so full of water to the brim
that a crow could drink out of it.

If now a strong man
were to break the containing embankment
on this side and that,
would the water run away through the breaches?

[97] Yes, sir.

Just in the same way,
if any Almsman has cultivated
and has developed mindfulness of body,
then, in each and every intellectually realizable mental object
to which he applies his mind
for its intellectual realization,
in every case
he comes to be an eye-witness thereof
face to face,
if there be an exercise of mindfulness.

It is just like a carriage
with a pair of thorough-breds harnessed to it
and with the goad lying ready to hand,
on level ground at the crossroads, -
into which there mounts a skilled driver,
who knows how to manage horses;
with his left hand he takes the reins,
grasping the goad in his right,
and away he drives,
up and down,
where he likes.

Just in the same way,
if any Almsman has cultivated
and has developed mindfulness of body,
then, in each and every intellectually realizable mental object
to which he applies his mind
for its intellectual realization,
in every case
he comes to be an eye-witness thereof
face to face,
if there be an exercise of mindfulness.

If, Almsmen,
mindfulness of body be practised,
[210] cultivated,
developed,
assimilated,
made a basis,
kept advancing,
accumulated and vigorously pursued,
ten blessings may be anticipated and they are these: -

He masters likes and dislikes; -
dislikes do not master him;
he is always victor over them
if and when they have arisen.

He masters fear and dread;
they do not master him;
he is always victor over them
if and when they have arisen.

He endures cold and heat,
hunger and thirst,
gadflies,
mosquitoes,
scorching winds,
contact with creeping things,
abusive and hurtful language;
his nature is to bear all bodily feelings
that are painful,
acute,
sharp,
severe,
wretched,
miserable,
or deadly.

The Four Ecstasies
with their vivid illumination,
which here and now [98] bring well-being into life, -
these he induces at will,
without trouble or difficulty.

He develops the divers psychic powers; -
from being one to become manifold,
from being manifold to become one,
to be visible and invisible,
to pass at will through wall or fence or hill
as if in air,
to pass in and out of the solid earth
as if it were water,
to walk on the water"s unbroken surface
as if it were the solid earth,
seated in state to glide through the air
like a bird on the wing,
to touch and to handle the sun and moon
in their power and might,
and to extend the sovereignty of his body
right up to the Brahmā world.

By the Ear Celestial
that is pure
and far surpasses the human ear,
he hears sounds celestial
and sounds human
both far and near.

His heart knows the hearts of other creatures
and of other men,
knows them for what they are, -
the heart where passion dwells as passionate,
the passionless heart as passionless,
the unkind heart as unkind,
the kindly heart as kindly,
the deluded heart as deluded,
the undeluded heart as undeluded,
the concentrated heart as concentrated,
the unconcentrated heart as unconcentrated,
the great heart as great
and the little heart as little,
the inferior heart as inferior
and the superior heart as superior,
the stedfast heart as [211] stedfast
and the unstedfast heart as unstedfast,
the heart Delivered as Delivered,
and the undelivered heart as undelivered.

He recalls his own divers existences in the past, -
a single [99] birth,
then two-etc. -
divers existences in the past in all their details and features.

With the Eye Celestial
that is pure
and far surpasses the human eye,
he sees creatures in act to pass hence,
in act to reappear elsewhere, -
creatures either lowly or debonair,
fair or foul to view,
happy or unhappy;
and he knows well that they fare according to their past deeds.

By the extinction of the Cankers,
he develops and dwells in
that Deliverance of heart and mind
where Cankers are not,
a Deliverance which,
of and by himself,
here and now,
he has discerned and realized.

These are the ten blessings, Almsmen,
that may be anticipated,
if mindfulness of body be cultivated
in the way I have stated.

Thus spoke the Lord.

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


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