Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikāya
I. Mūlapaṇṇāsa
2. Sīhanāda Vagga

Sutta 19

Dvedhā-Vitakka Suttaɱ

Two Kinds of Thoughts

Translated from the Pali
by
Venerable Mahathera Madawela Punnaji

© Madawela Punnaji
Used with permission.

 


 

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

Once, the Blessed One was sojourning in Sāvatthī, at the Jetavanarama, the Anathapindika's Monastery.

While there, the Blessed One addressed the Bhikkhus thus:

"Oh Bhikkhus"!

"Yes Lord". They replied.

Then the Blessed One said:

"Before my awakening, Bhikkhus, while I was still an unawake Bodhisatta, it occurred to me:

"Suppose I distinguish between good thoughts and bad thoughts".

So I separated passionate, angry, and violent thoughts; from dispassionate, kind, and peaceful thoughts".

When I dwelt thus watchful, alert, and vigilant, a passionate thought arose in me.

Then I recognized:

"A passionate thought has arisen in me, this can lead to my own harm, to others harm and to the harm of both.

It obstructs intelligence, favours destructiveness, and leads me away from Nibbana.

When I considered: "this lead to my own harm", it subsided in me.

When I considered: "this leads to others harm," it subsided in me.

When I considered: "this leads to the harm of both," it subsided in me.

When I considered: "this obstructs intelligence, and favours destructiveness, and leads me away from Nibbana," it subsided in me.

Every passionate thought that arose in me, I did not accept it, I rejected it, and I eliminated it.

Similarly, when an angry thought arose in me, I did not accept it, I rejected it, and I eliminated it.

When a cruel thought arose in me, I did not accept it, I rejected it, and I eliminated it.

"Bhikkhus, whatever a Bhikkhu frequently thinks and ponders over, the mind will be inclined towards it.

If he frequently thinks and ponders over passionate thoughts, he has abandoned dispassion, and the mind is inclined more towards passionate thoughts.

Similarly, if he frequently thinks and ponders over angry thoughts, he has abandoned kindness, and the mind is inclined more towards anger.

Or if he frequently thinks and ponders over cruel thoughts, he has abandoned peacefulness, and his mind becomes inclined more towards thoughts of cruelty.

In this way I understood the danger, futility and confusion in unwholesome mental states, and I saw the advantage of cultivating wholesome mental states.

 


 

As I dwelt thus: watchful, alert, and vigilant, a thought of renunciation arose in me.

Then I recognized, this thought of renunciation has arisen in me.

This does not lead to my own harm, to others harm, or to both myself and others.

It promotes intelligence, it supports constructiveness, and it leads me to Nibbana.

If I think and ponder over this thought for one night, or for one day, or even for a night and a day, I see no danger.

Excessive thinking and pondering, however, might tire my body, and when my body is tired, the mind becomes tired, when the mind is tired, it is far from tranquility.

So I steadied my mind internally, quietened it, brought it to a state of perfect tranquility and stillness.

Why is that? In order to prevent the mind from being disturbed.

 


 

As I dwelt thus watchful, alert, and vigilant a thought of kindness arose in me.

Then I recognized, this thought of kindness has arisen in me.

This does not lead to my own harm, to others harm, or to the harm of both.

It promotes intelligence, it supports constructiveness, and it leads me to Nibbana.

If I think and ponder over this thought for one night, or for one day, or even for a night and a day, I see no danger.

Excessive thinking and pondering, however, might tire my body, and when my body is tired, the mind becomes tired, when the mind is tired, it is far from tranquility.

So I steadied my mind internally, quietened it, brought it to a state of tranquility and stillness.

Why is that?

In order to prevent the mind from being disturbed.

 


 

As I dwelt thus, watchful, alert, and vigilant, a thought of peacefulness arose in me.

Then I recognized, this thought of peacefulness has arisen in me.

This does not lead to my own harm, to others harm, or to the harm of both.

It promotes intelligence, it supports constructiveness, and it leads me to Nibbana.

If I think and ponder over these thoughts for one night, or for one day, or even for a night and a day, I see no danger.

Excessive thinking and pondering, however, might tire my body, and when the body is tired, the mind becomes tired, and when the mind is tired, it is far from tranquility.

So I steadied my mind internally, quietened it, brought it to a state of tranquility and stillness.

Why is that?

In order to prevent my mind from being disturbed.

 


 

"Bhikkhus, whatever a Bhikkhu frequently thinks and ponders over, the mind will become inclined towards it.

If he frequently thinks and ponders over thoughts of renunciation, he has abandoned passion, and his mind is inclined towards thoughts of renunciation.

If he frequently thinks and ponders over thoughts of kindness or of peacefulness, he has abandon anger and cruelty, and his mind inclines towards kind and peaceful thoughts.

Having gone thus far, I had only to be aware that those good thoughts were going on in my mind.

I realized my vigilant practice has progressed, my unremitting introspective attention was established in me, my body was relaxed and comfortable, and my mind was happy, tranquil, and unified.

In this way, withdrawn from passionate thoughts, withdrawn from evil thoughts, I entered upon the first Jhana with observation and inference, experiencing joy and comfort based on mental equilibrium … ultimately I came to realize that: birth is ended, lived is the holy life, done is what has to be done, and no more is the continuity of existence.

"So Bhikkhus, the safe and good path to be travelled joyfully has been reopened by me, the wrong path has been closed off.

What a teacher who seeks your welfare, and has compassion for you can do, that I have done for you, bhikkhus.

There are these roots of trees, and these empty huts.

Bhikkhus meditate, do not delay, or else you will regret it later.

This is my advice to you".

Thus was the Blessed One's utterance.

The Bhikkhus were delighted and inspired by what the Blessed One said.


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