Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikāya
I. Mūlapaṇṇāsa
2. Sīhanāda Vagga

Sutta 20

Vitakka-Saṇṭhāna Suttaɱ

Technique of Calming Thoughts

Translated from the Pali
by
Venerable Mahathera Madawela Punnaji

© Madawela Punnaji
Used with permission.

 


 

[1][chlm][pts][than][soma][ntbb][upal] [Evaɱ me sutaɱ:|| ||

Ekaɱ samayaɱ Bhagavā Sāvatthīyaɱ viharati Jetavane Anāthapiṇḍikassa ārāme.|| ||

Tatra kho Bhagavā bhikkhū āmantesi:|| ||

"Bhikkhavo" ti.|| ||

"Bhadante" ti te bhikkhū Bhagavato paccassosuɱ. Bhagavā etad avoca:|| ||] [not translated ed.]

The disciple who is engaged in the development of the superior disposition should cultivate five mental strategies at the appropriate times.

If an image arises in a disciple's mind, which, as he reflects on it, arouses evil and unworthy thoughts associated with lust, hate and confusion, then an image contrary to this image, which is worthy, must be reflected on.

When this is done, those evil and unworthy thoughts wane and cease.

Just as a skillful carpenter or his-assistant, removes an old wooden peg by placing a new wooden peg and hammering on it, so the disciple removes a bad mental image by substituting a good mental image.

When this is done, if the evil and unworthy thoughts still continue to arise, then one should consider the evil consequences of these evil thoughts thus: "These thoughts are unworthy; these thoughts are incorrect; these thoughts lead to painful consequences".

When this is done, those evil unworthy thoughts wane and cease.

Just as if there is a woman, man or child who is clean and cleanly dressed, and someone hangs on his or her neck the carcass of a snake, dog, or human, he or she would be horrified, humiliated or disgusted, even so when one considers the evil consequences of evil thoughts, they wane and cease.

When this is done, if the evil and unworthy thoughts still continue to arise, then one should stop paying attention to these thoughts and stop reflecting on them.

When this is done, those evil unworthy thoughts wane and cease.

Just as a man with eyes who does not want to see something that comes within the range of his vision would shut his eyes or looks aside, even so one should shut one's mind to these evil thoughts by not paying attention to them, and ignoring them.

When this is done, if the evil unworthy thought still arise, then one should focus on relaxation and calmness, calming down the activity of thought.

When this is done, those evil unworthy thoughts wane and cease.

Just as a man who is running begins to walk slowly, or a man who is walking slowly, begins to stop and stand, or a man who is standing sits down, or a man who is sitting lies down, thus changing from a more tiresome position to a less tiresome, or more restful or more relaxed position, even so one focuses on relaxation and calmness and rests the mind.

When this is done, if the evil unworthy thoughts still arise, one should relax the clenched teeth, relax the tongue pressed on the palate, and thus remove the thought associated with evil easily without exertion, by relaxing and calming the mind.

Just as a strong man might hold a weak man by the head or the body and throw him out easily, without exerting himself, being fully relaxed and calm, even so the disciple relaxes the jaws and tongue and throws out the thought without exerting himself, by relaxing the body and calming the mind.

When this is done, those evil unworthy thoughts associated with lust, hate and confusion wane and cease.

When they disappear, the mind stays within, rests within, becomes uniform, and enters equilibrium.

The disciple who achieves this is called "Master of Mind".

He thinks what he wants to think.

He does not think what is unwanted.

He has stopped the emotional urge, broken the fetters, removed egotism, and ended suffering.


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