Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikāya
III. Upari Paṇṇāsa
5. Saḷāyatana 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 152

Indriya-Bhāvanā Suttaɱ

Culture of Faculties

 


[298] [324]

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

Once when the Lord was staying at Kajangalā
in the Mukhelu grove,
the young brahmin Uttara,
a pupil of the brahmin Pārāsariya,
came to the Lord
and after exchange of civil greetings
took his seat to one side.

As he sat there,
the Lord asked whether the brahmin Pārāsariya, taught his disciples the development of faculties.

[325] Yes, he does, Gotama.

And what is his teaching on this matter?

It is when the man neither sees forms with his eyes
nor hears sounds with his ear.

On that showing, Uttara,
the blind and the deaf have developed their faculties, -
according to the brahmin Pārāsariya,.

For a blind man can see no forms
nor can a deaf man hear sounds.

At these words Uttara sat silent and upset,
with his shoulders hunched up
and his eyes downcast,
much exercised in mind
but finding no words to utter.

Seeing the state the young brahmin was in,
the Lord observed to Ānanda
that there was a difference between the development of the faculties as taught by the brahmin Pārāsariya,
and the consummate development of the Rule of the Noble.

Now, Lord, is the time;
now, Blessed One, is the time for the Lord
to teach [299] the consummate development of the faculties
according to the Rule of the Noble.

Well then, Ānanda,
listen
and pay attention;
and I will speak.

Yes, sir, said Ānanda in assent;
and the Lord began: -

How does the consummate development of the faculties
come about in the rule of the Noble? -

Take the case of an Almsman in whom,
as he sees a given form,
there arises a something agreeable
or disagreeable
or neither.

Recognizing the fact,
he bethinks him that this something which arose in him
arose because of something compounded and material,
but that the good and excellent thing
is poised indifference.

So the something agreeable,
or disagreeable,
or neutral
is stilled,
and poised indifference is established.

It is just like a man with eyes to see who,
having opened his eyes,
then closes them,
or who,
having closed his eyes,
then opens them again.

Just with the same speed
and swiftness
and ease,
indifference is established,
and the something agreeable -
or disagreeable -
or neutral -
is laid to rest.

This is called
the consummate development of the faculties
in the Rule of [326] the Noble,
with reference to the forms which the eye sees.

Further, as the Almsman hears a sound,
there arises in him a something agreeable
or ... indifference is established.

Just as a strong man
can snap his fingers with ease,
so, with the same speed ...
the Rule of the Noble,
with reference to the sounds the ear hears.

Further, as the Almsman smells an odour,
there arises in him a something-agreeable ...
indifference is established.

Just as [300] on an upstanding lotus-leaf,
as yet unfurled,
drops of water come about it
but, finding no resting-place,
glide off,
so, with the same speed ...
the Rule of tne Noble,
with reference to the odours the nose smells.

Further, as the Almsman with his tongue
tastes a savour,
there arises in him ...
indifference is established.

Just as a strong man,
with a fleck of mucus collected on his tongue-tip,
can with ease spit it out,
so with the same speed ... Noble,
with reference to the savours the tongue tastes.

Further, as the Almsman with his body
touches a tangible thing,
there arises in him ...
indifference is established.

Just as a strong man can stretch out his retracted arm
or retract his outstretched arm,
so with the same speed ... Noble,
with reference to tangible things which the body touches.

Further, as the Almsman with his mind
cognizes a mental object,
there arises in him ... indifference is established.

Just as a man might let two or three drops of water
fall on a red-hot sheet of iron,
and then, slow though the fall of those water-drops,
they speedily shrivel up and disappear, -
so with the same speed . .. Noble,
with reference to mental objects which the mind cognizes.

Thus, Ānanda,
does the consummate development of the faculties come about
in the Rule of the Noble.

How now does the Almsman
who is still under training
come to enter the true path? -

Take the case of an Almsman
in whom, as he sees a given form -
or hears a sound etc. -,
there arises a something-agree- [327] able,
or disagreeable,
or neither -
and on its arising
he is filled with loathing
and abhorrence
and disgust. -

[301] This is how he comes to enter the true path.

Lastly, how comes about the Noble development of faculties? -

Take the case of an Almsman
in whom, as he sees a given form -
or hears a sound etc. -,
there arises a something-agreeable,
or disagreeable,
or neither.

Should his desire be to live
without consciousness of the loathsomeness
of the loathsome,
without that consciousness he lives.

Should his desire be to live
with consciousness of the loathsomeness
of the loathsome,
with that consciousness he lives.

Should his desire be to live
without consciousness of the loathsomeness
alike of the loathsome and the unloathsome,
without that consciousness he lives.

Should his desire be to live
with consciousness of the loathsomeness
alike of the unloathsome and the loathsome,
with that consciousness he lives.

Should his desire be
to be quit and rid of
both the loathsome and the unloathsome
[302] and to live in poised indifference,
mindful and alive to everything, -
then in poised indifference he lives,
mindful and alive to everything. -

That is how the Noble come to developed faculties.

Thus, Ānanda, I have taught
the consummate development of the faculties
in the Rule of the Noble;
I have taught
how the Almsman under training
comes to enter the true path;
I have taught
how there comes the Noble development of faculties.

All that a fond and compassionate teacher can do for his disciples
out of his compassion for them, -
all that have I done for you.

Here, Ānanda,
are trees to sit under;
here are the abodes of solitude.

Ponder deeply
and never flag;
lay not up remorse for yourselves hereafter; -
this is my exhortation to you.

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


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