Majjhima Nikaya


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German translation

Majjhima Nikāya
II. Majjhima Paṇṇāsa
1. Gahapati Vagga

Sutta 52

Aṭṭha-Kanāgara Suttaɱ

Preached at Atthakanagara

Translated from the Pali by Sister Upalavanna

 


 

[1][chlm][pts][than] I heard thus.

At one time venerable Ananda was living in the small village Beluwa in Vesāli. It happened that the householder Dasama, a good citizen had come to Pataliputta for some business. Then the householder Dasama approached a certain bhikkhu in Kukkutārāma, worshipped him and sat on a side. The householder Dasama asked. 'Venerable sir, where does venerable Ananda live at this time?' 'Householder, venerable Ananda, abides in Vesāli in the small village Beluwa'. Then the householder Dasama, having finished his business in Pataliputta approached venerable Ananda in the small village Beluwa, worshipped him, sat on a side and said to venerable Ananda

Venerable sir, Ananda, is there an abiding shown by the Blessed One perfect, rightfully enlightened, knows and sees, abiding in which, a bhikkhu diligent for dispelling, would gain the release of his unreleased mind, destroying his undestroyed desires, would attain the not attained, noble end of the yoke? Householder, there is an abiding shown by the Blessed One perfect, rightfully enlightened, knows and sees. Abiding in it a bhikkhu diligent for dispelling desires, gains the release of his unreleased mind, destroying his undestroyed desires, attains the not attained noble end of the yoke. Venerable sir, what is that attainment told by the Blessed One?

Householder, the bhikkhu, secluding the mind from sensual thoughts and thoughts of demerit, with thoughts and discursive thoughts and joy and pleasantness born of seclusion abides in the first jhāna. Then he reflects: This first jhāna is something compounded, mentally developed. Whatever is compounded and mentally developed is impermanent. Thoroughly knowing that impermanent things cease, he gets established in that and destroys desires. If his desires don't get destroyed, because of greed and interest, for that purity, he destroys the five lower fetters and arises spontaneously to extinguish in this same birth and not proceed.[1] This is that attainment told by the Blessed One perfect, rightfully enlightened, knows and sees. Abiding in it a bhikkhu diligent for dispelling desires, gains the release of his unreleased mind and destroying his undestroyed desires attains the noble end of the yoke.

Again, householder, the bhikkhu overcoming thoughts and discursive thoughts, the mind internally appeased and brought to a single point, with joy and pleasanatness born of concentration abides in the second jhāna He reflects, this second jhāna too is something compounded and mentally developed. All compounded and mentally developed things are impermanent. Thoroughly knowing that impermanent things cease, he gets established in that and destroys desires. If his desires don't get destroyed, because of greed and interest for that purity he destroys the five lower fetters and arises spontaneously to extinguish in this same birth and not proceed. This is that attainment told by the Blessed One perfect, rightfully enlightened, knows and sees, abiding in which a bhikkhu diligent for dispelling, gains the release of his unreleased mind, destroys his undestroyed desires, and attains the noble end of the yoke.

Again, householder, the bhikkhu with equanimity to joy and detachment, abides in pleasantness, mindful of pleasantness with the body too,[2] abides in the third jhāna. To this the noble ones say abiding in pleasantness with equanimity. He reflects this third jhāna too is something compounded, mentally developed. Whatever is compounded and mentally developed is impermanent. Thoroughly knowing that impermanent things cease, he gets established in that and destroys desires. If his desires don't get destroyed, because of greed and interest for that purity, destroying the five lower fetters he arises spontaneously to extinguish in this same birth and not proceed. This is that attainment told by the Blessed One perfect, rightfully enlightened, knows and sees. Abiding in it a bhikkhu diligent for dispelling, gains the release of his unreleased mind, destroys his undestroyed desires, and attains the noble end of the yoke.

Again, householder, the bhikkhu dispelling pleasantness and unpleasantness, and earlier having dispelled pleasure and displeasure, without unpleasantness and pleasantness and with mindfulness purified with equanimity abides in the fourth jhāna. Then he reflects this fourth jhāna too is something compounded, mentally developed. Whatever is compounded and mentally developed is impermanent. Thoroughly knowing that impermanent things cease, he gets established in that and destroys desires. If his desires don't get destroyed, because of greed and interest for that purity destroying the five lower fetters he arises spontaneously to extinguish in this same birth and not proceed. This is that attainment told by the Blessed One perfect, rightfully enlightened, knows and sees. Abiding in it a bhikkhu diligent for dispelling, gains the release of his unreleased mind, destroys his undestroyed desires, and attains the not attained noble end of the yoke.

Again, householder, the bhikkhu, abides with the thought of loving kindness, pervading one direction. So too the second, the third, the fourth, above, below, and across, in all circumstances, for all purposes, towards all, this thought grown great is developed. Then he reflects, the thought of loving kindness is something compounded, mentally developed. Whatever is compounded and mentally developed is impermanent Thoroughly knowing that impermanent things cease, he gets established in that and destroys desires. If his desires don't get destroyed, because of greed and interest for that purity destroying the five lower fetters he arises spontaneously to extinguish in that same birth and not proceed. This is that attainment told by the Blessed One perfect, rightfully enlightened, knows and sees. Abiding in which a bhikkhu diligent for dispelling, gains the release of his unreleased mind, destroys his undestroyed desires, and attains the not attained noble end of the yoke.

Again, householder, the bhikkhu, abides with the thought of compassion, with the thought of intrinsic joy. He abides with the thought of equanimity pervading one direction, so too the second, the third, the fourth, above, below, and across, in all circumstances, for all purposes, towards all, the thought of equanimity grown great is developed. Then he reflects, this thought of equanimity too is something compounded something mentally developed. Whatever is compounded and mentally developed is impermanent. Thoroughly knowing that impermanent things cease, he gets established in that and destroys desires. If his desires don't get destroyed, because of greed and interest for that purity he destroys the five lower fetters and arises spontaneously to extinguish in that same birth and not proceed. This is that attainment told by the Blessed One perfect, rightfully enlightened, knows and sees. Abiding in which a bhikkhu diligent for dispelling, gains the release of his unreleased mind, destroys his undestroyed desires, and attains the noble end of the yoke.

Again, householder, the bhikkhu overcoming all perceptions of matter and aversion, not attending to various perceptions, with space is boundless abides in the sphere of space. This sphere of space too is something compounded, mentally developed. Whatever is compounded and mentally developed is impermanent. Thoroughly knowing that impermanent things cease, he gets established in that and destroys desires. If his desires don't get destroyed, because of greed and interest for them he destroys the five lower fetters and arises spontaneously to extinguish in that same birth not to proceed. This is that attainment told by the Blessed One perfect, rightfully enlightened, knows and sees. Abiding in it a bhikkhu diligent for dispelling, gains the release of his unreleased mind, destroys his undestroyed desires, and attains the noble end of the yoke.

Again, householder, the bhikkhu overcoming all perceptions of space, with consciousness is boundless abides in the sphere of consciousness. This sphere of consciousness too is something compounded, mentally developed. Whatever is compounded and mentally developed is impermanent. Thoroughly knowing that impermanent things cease he gets established in that and destroys desires. If his desires don't get destroyed, because of greed and interest for that purity, destroying the five lower fetters he arises spontaneously to extinguish in that same birth not to proceed. This is that attainment told by the Blessed One perfect, rightfully enlightened, knows and sees. Abiding in it a bhikkhu diligent for dispelling desires, gains the release of his unreleased mind, destroys his undestroyed desires, and attains the noble end of the yoke.

Again, householder, the bhikkhu overcoming all perceptions of consciousness, with there is nothing, abides in the sphere of nothingness This sphere of nothingness too is something compounded, mentally developed. Whatever is compounded and mentally developed is impermanent. Thoroughly knowing that impermanent things cease gets established in that and destroys desires. If his desires don't get destroyed, because of greed and interest for that purity, destroying the five lower fetters he arises spontaneously, to extinguish in that same birth not proceed. This is that attainment told by the Blessed One perfect, rightfully enlightened, knows and sees. Abiding in it a bhikkhu diligent for dispelling desires, gains the release of his unreleased mind, destroys his undestroyed desires, and attains the noble end of the yoke.

When this was said the householder Dasama said. Venerable sir, it is like a man in search of a single treasure has come to know eleven treasures, in one and the same search. In the same way we came to hear a single gateway to deathlessness and here we are told eleven gateways to deathlessness. It is like to a man's house there are eleven doors and when the house is on fire he could escape through one of those doors. In the same manner I can make myself safe through one or the other of these eleven doors to deathlessness. The ascetics of other sects examine the treasures of their teacher. Why shouldn't we make an offering to venerable Ananda. Then the househoder Dasama assembling the bhikkhus of Pātaliputta and Vesāli, offered them nourishing eatables and drinks with his own hands, and offered each bhikkhu a pair of robes and venerable Ananda a set of three robes, and caused five hundred monasteries to be built for venerable Ananda.

 


[1] He destroys the five lower fetters and arises spontaneously, to extinguish in this same birth not to proceed. Destroying the five lower fetters and arising spontaneously is something that happens in the twinkling of a moment. In Pali it is called 'anāgāmi' not returning to this sensual world for future birth. This would be known by the one who attained it and not by any other person

[2] Mindful of pleasantness with the body. 'kāyenaca sukhaɱ phassa' ti. This pleasantness is experienced when the one in jhāna is not touched by contacts at any of his doors of mental contact. The Blessed One says that this is a constant pleasantness enjoyed by the arahants.


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