Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikāya
II. Majjhima Paṇṇāsa
2. Bhikkhu Vagga

Sutta 62

Mahā Rāhulo-Vāda Suttaɱ

Advice to Venerable Rahula — The Longer Discourse

Translated from the Pali by Sister Upalavanna

 


 

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

At one time the Blessed One was living in the monastery offered by Anathapindika in Jeta's grove in Savatthi Then the Blessed One put on robes in the morning and taking bowl and robes entered Savatthi for alms. Venerable Rahula too putting on robes, taking bowl and robes followed the Blessed One close behind. Then the Blessed One looked back and addressed venerable Rahula:

'Rahula, whatever matter, in the past, in the future, or at present, internal or external, coarse or fine, unexalted or exalted, far or near, all matter is not mine, that is not me, that is not my self. This has to be seen as it really is with right wisdom.'

'Blessed One, is it only matter?'

'Rahula, feelings also, perceptions also, determinations and consciousness too.'

Then it occurred to venerable Rahula, advised by the Blessed One, 'What is the use of going for alms today?' Venerable Rahula, stopped short, and sat with legs crossed at the root of a certain tree, the body straight and mindfulness established in front.

Venerable Sariputta saw venerable Rahula seated cross-legged at the root of a certain tree, the body straight and mindfulness established in front of him. He said, 'Rahula, develop in-breathing and out-breathing. When, in- and out-breathing is developed and made much, it brings good results and benefits.'

In the evening, venerable Rahula got up from his seclusion, approached the Blessed One, worshipped, sat on a side and said, 'Venerable sir, developed and made much, in which ways do in-breaths and out-breaths bring good results and benefits?'[1]

'Rahula, all that's in this body. That are hard and rough and thought are yours, such as hair of the head and body, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, veins, bones, bone marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, pleura, spleen, lungs, intestines, small intestines, stomach and excreta, or anything else that is internal, your own, hard and rough is called 'internal earth element'. This internal earth element and the external earth element, all that goes as the earth element.

'All this, is not mine, that is not I, it is not my self. This has to be seen as it really is, with right wisdom. Seeing it as it really is, the mind should be detached from the earth element, and the interest should be cut.

'Rahula, what is the water element? There is internal water element and external water element. Rahula, what is the internal water element? All that's in this body that is watery and thought is yours such as bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, oil of the skin, tears, fat, saliva, snot, oil of the joints, and urine, or anything else, that is internal, all things of watery nature and thought is yours is called 'internal water element'. This internal water element and the external water element, go as the water element.

'All this is not mine, that is not I, it is not my self. This has to be seen as it really is, with right wisdom. Seeing it as it really is, the mind should be detached from the water element, and the interest should be cut.

'Rahula, what is the fire element? There is internal fire element and external fire element. What is the internal fire element? All that internal fire, the firey nature, that is your own. Such as the burning, the decaying of the tasted, drunk, eaten, enjoyed, is thoroughly digested or any internal fire, or burning nature that is yours is called 'internal fire element'. This internal fire element and external fire element go as the fire element.

'All this is not mine, that is not I, that is not, my self. This has to be seen as it really is, with right wisdom. Seeing this as it really is, the mind should be detached from the fire element, and the interest should be cut.

'Rahula, what is the air element? There is internal air element and external air element. What is the internal air element? All that internal air, that is yours, the airy nature, with up-coming air, down-going air, air in the stomach, air in the bowels, and air running up and down limbs large and small, to this is called 'internal air element'. This internal air element and the external air element, it all goes as the air element.

'That is not mine, that is not I and that is not my self. This has to be seen as it really is, with right wisdom. Seeing this, as it really is, the mind should be detached from the air element, and the interest should be cut.

'Rahula, what is the element of space? There is internal and external space element. What is internal space? All internal space such as the spaces in the, ear holes, nostrils, mouth, where the food tasted, drunk, enjoyed, is accepted and stored and through which it comes out is called internal space. This internal and external, space element goes as the element of space. That is not mine, that is not I, that is not my self. This has to be seen as it really is, with right wisdom. Seeing it as it really is, the mind should be detached from the space element to cut all interests.

'Rahula, develop a mind similar to earth. When you develop a mind similar to earth arisen contacts of like and dislike do not take hold of your mind and stay. Rahula, on the earth is dumped the pure and the impure, excreta, urine, saliva, pus, blood; the earth does not loathe those. In the same manner develop a mind similar to earth. When you develop a mind similar to earth, arisen contacts of like and dislike do not take hold of the mind and stay.

'Rahula, develop a mind similar to water. When you develop a mind similar to water arisen contacts of like and dislike do not take hold of your mind and stay. Rahula with water the pure and the impure are washed; excreta, urine, saliva, pus, and blood, are washed. Water does not loathe those. In the same manner develop a mind similar to water. When you develop a mind similar to water, arisen contacts of like and dislike do not take hold of the mind and stay.

'Rahula, develop a mind similar to fire, when you develop a mind similar to fire arisen contacts of like and dislike do not take hold of your mind and stay. Rahula, fire burns the pure and the impure, burns excreta, urine, saliva, pus, and blood. Fire does not loathe those; in the same manner develop a mind similar to fire. When you develop a mind similar to fire, arisen contacts of like and dislike do not take hold of the mind and stay.

'Rahula, develop a mind similar to space, when you develop a mind similar to space arisen contacts of like and dislike do not take hold of your mind and stay. Rahula, space does not settle anywhere. In the same manner develop a mind similar to space. When you develop a mind similar to space, arisen contacts of like and dislike do not take hold of the mind and stay.

'Rahula, develop loving kindness; when it is developed, anger fades. Rahula, develop compassion; when it is developed, anger fades. Rahula, develop intrinsic joy; when it is developed discontentment fades. Rahula, develop equanimity; when it is developed aversion fades. Rahula, develop the thought of loathesomeness; when it is developed greed fades. Rahula, develop the perception of impermanence; when it is developed the conceit 'I be' fades.

'Rahula, develop mindfulness of in-breaths and out-breaths, when it is developed and made much there are good results and many benefits. Developed and made much in which manner does mindfulness of in-breaths and out-breaths bring good results and many benefits?

'Here, Rahula, the bhikkhu gone to the the forest, or to the root of a tree, or to an empty house, sits cross-legged, with the body erect, and the mind established in front of him. He breathes in and out mindfully. Breathing in long he knows, 'I breathe in long;' breathing out long he knows, 'I breathe out long.' Breathing in short he knows, 'I breathe in short;' breathing out short he knows, 'I breathe out short.'

He trains, 'I breathe in, experiencing the complete body; I breathe out, experiencing the complete body.' He trains, 'I breathe in, appeasing the bodily determination; I breathe out, appeasing the bodily determination.'[2]He trains, 'I breathe in, experiencing joy; I breathe out, experiencing joy.' He trains, 'I breathe in, experiencing pleasantness, I breathe out, experiencing pleasantness.' He trains, 'I breathe in, experiencing the mental determination; I breathe out, experiencing the mental determination.'[3] He trains, I breathe in, calming the mental determination, I breathe out, calming the mental determination.[4] He trains, 'I breathe in, experiencing the mental state; I breathe out, experiencing the mental state.'[5] He trains, 'I breathe in, the mind rejoicing; I breathe out, the mind rejoicing.' He trains, 'I breathe in with a concentrated mind; I breathe out with a concentrated mind.' He trains, 'I breathe in with a released mind; I breathe out with a released mind.[6] He trains, 'I breathe in seeing impermanence; I breathe out seeing impermanence.' He trains, 'I breathe in, detached; I breathe out, detached.' He trains, 'I breathe in seeing cessation; I breathe out seeing cessation.' He trains, 'I breathe in seeing the giving up; I breathe out seeing the giving up.'

'Rahula, mindfulness of in breaths and out breaths developed in this manner brings good results and many benefits. Rahula, when mindfulness of in breaths and out breaths are developed and made much in this manner, even the last breath leaves with your knowledge.'[7]

The Blessed One said thus and venerable Rahula rejoiced in the words of the Blessed One.

 


[1] In- and out-breathing developed and made much, in which way brings good results and benefits (kataɱ bhāvitānu kho bhante ānāpānasati kataɱ bahulīkatā mahapphalā hoti mahānisansā). In this sutta the Blessed One explains to venerable Rahula how in- and out-breathing could be developed until extinction. The gradual training is explained step by step. Venerable Rahula would have attained extinction at the end of the Sutta.

[2] He trains, 'I breathe in and out appeasing the bodily determination' (passambhayaɱ kāyasankhāraɱ assasissāmīti sikkhati passambhayaɱ kāyasankhāraɱ passasissāmīti sikkhati). Bodily determination is in- and out-breaths. It is appeased and pasified while one is mindful of the breaths.

[3] He trains, 'I breathe in experiencing the mental determination. I breathe out experiencing the mental determination' (cittasankhāra paṭisanvedi assasissāmīti sikkhati cittasankhāra patisanvedī passasissāmīti sikkhati). Mental determinations are feelings and perceptions. The bhikkhu breathes in and out mindfully and becomes aware of his feelings and perceptions, while doing so.

[4] He trains, 'I breathe in calming the mental determination, breathe out calming the mental determination' (passambhayaɱ cittasankhāraɱassasissāmīti sikkhati passambhayam cittasankhāraɱ passasissāmīti sikkhati). Calming the mental determination is appeasingthe feelings and perceptions that arise when mindful of the in- and out-breaths.

[5] He trains, 'I breathe in experiencing the mental state. I breathe out experiencing the mental state' (cittapaṭisanvedī assasissāmīti sikkhati cittapaṭisanvedī passasissāmīti sikkhāti). Here the bhikkhu becomes aware of the mental statewhile he is mindful of his in breaths and out breaths. The mental state is whether the mind is with anger or without anger, with greed or without greed, etc.

[6] He trains, 'I breathe in with a released mind, I breathe out with a released mind' (vimocayaɱ cittaɱ assasissāmīti sikkhati vimocayaɱ cittam passasissāmīti sikkhati). This means that when the mind is released, the in- and out-breaths too become appeased and light.

[7] When mindfulness of in-breaths and out-breaths is developed and made much in this manner, even the last breath leaves with your knowledge (evaɱ bhāvitāya kho Rahula ānāpānasatiyā evaɱ bahulikatāya yepi te carimakā assāsapassāsā te; pi viditāva nirujjhanti no aviditāti). When mindfulness of in- and out-breathing is developed in this manner, he becomes mindful of even his last breath, at death.


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