Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikāya
III. Upari Paṇṇāsa
2. Anupada Vagga

Sutta 119

Kāyagatā-Sati Suttaɱ

Mindfulness Established in the Body

Translated from the Pali by Sister Upalavanna

 


 

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

At one time the Blessed One lived in the monastery offered by Anathapindika in Jeta's grove in Savatthi. Then to the bhkikkhus assembled in the attendance hall after the mid-day meal, this talk arose. 'Friends, it is wonderful, the Blessed One who knows and sees, is perfect and rightfully enlightened has said that mindfulness established in the body, developed and made much, brings much results and great results,' When this conversation was going on, the Blessed One got up from his seclusion, in the evening, approched the attendance hall, sat on the prepared seat and addressed the bhikkhus. 'Bhikkhus, with what talk were you seated here and what was the other conversation?'

'Venerable sir, we were assembled in the attendance hall after the mid-day meal, then this talk arose. among us. Friends, it is wonderful, the Blessed One who knows and sees, is perfect and rightfully enlightened has said that mindfulness ofthe body in the body, developed and made much, brings much results and great results. When this conversation was going on, the Blessed One arrived.'

'Bhikkhus, mindfulness of the body in the body developed and made much in which manner brings much results and great results? The bhikkhu, gone to the forest, or to the root of a tree, or to an empty house, sits legs crossed, the body straight, and mindfulness established in front. Mindfully he breathes in or breathes out. Breathing in long knows, I breathe in long. Breathing out long knows, I breathe out long. Breathing in short knows, I breathe in short. Breathing out short knows, I breathe out short. Trains, calming the bodily determination I breathe in. Trains, calming the bodily determination I breathe out. When he abides diligent to dispel, worldly thoughts and recollections fade and his mind gets established in a single point concentrated. Bhikkhus, in this manner too mindfulness of the body in the body is developed.

Again, bhikkhus, the bhikkhu going knows, I go. Or standing knows, I stand. Or sitting knows, I sit. Or lying knows, I lie. In whatever manner his body is placed, that and that he knows When he abides diligent to dispel, worldly thoughts and recollections fade and his mind gets established in a single point concentrated. Bhikkhus, in this manner too mindfulness of the body in the body is developed.

Again the bhikkhu becomes aware, going forward or turning back, looking on, or looking about, bending or stretching, Becomes aware bearing the three robes and bowl, Becomes aware enjoying, drinking, eating or tasting. Becomes aware going, standing, sitting, lying, speaking, or keeping silence. When he abides diligent to dispel, worldly thoughts and recollections fade and his mind gets established in a single point concentrated. Bhikkhus, in this manner too mindfulness of the body in the body is developed.

Again, the bhikkhu abides reflecting this body up from the sole, down from the hair on the top and surrounded by the skin as full of various impurities. There are in this body, hair of the head and body, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, veins, bones, bone marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, pleura, spleen, lungs, lower intestines, bowels, stomach, excreta, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, eye secretions, saliva, snot, oil of joints, urine, Just like a bag of provisions open on both sides, is filled up with various grains such as rice, paddy, green grams, beans, sesame, fine rice. A man who could see would pull it out and reflect, this is rice, this paddy, this green grams, this beans, this sesame, and this is fine rice. In the same manner the bhikkhu abides reflecting this body, up from the sole, down from the hair on the top and surrounded by the skin as full of various impurities. There are in this body, hair of the head and body, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, veins, bones, bone marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, pleura, spleen, lungs, lower intestines, bowels, stomach, excreta, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, eye secretions, saliva, snot, oil of joints and urine. When he abides diligent to dispel, worldly thoughts and recollections fade and his mind gets established in a single point concentrated. Bhikkhus, in this manner too mindfulness of the body in the body is developed.

Again the bhikkhu abides reflecting this body as elements in whatever posture it is. There are in this body, the elements, earth, water, fire and air. Just as a clever butcher or his apprenticewould be seated in a hut at the four crossroads with a killed cow dissecting it into small bits. In the same manner, in this body, there are the elements earth, water, fire and air. When he abides diligent to dispel, worldly thoughts and recollections fade and his mind gets established in a single point concentrated. Bhikkhus, in this manner too mindfulness of the body in the body is developed.

Again, the bhikkhu reflects this body as a dead body thrown in the charnel ground, either after one day, two days or three days, bloated, turned blue and festering. This body too is subject to that same, has not gone beyond it. When he abides diligent to dispel, worldly thoughts and recollections fade and his mind gets established in a single point concentrated. Bhikkhus, in this manner too mindfulness of the body in the body is developed.

Again, the bhikkhu abides reflectingthis body as a dead body thrown in the charnel ground eaten by hawks, vultures, dogs, foxes, or by various other living things. This body too is subject to that same, has not gone beyond it. Again, the bhikkhu abides reflectingthis body as a dead body thrown in the charnel ground eaten by hawks, vultures, dogs, foxes, or by various other living things. This body too is subject to that same, has not gone beyond it.

Again, bhikkhus, the bhikkhu reflects this body as thrown in the charnel ground, as a skeleton with flesh and blood bound with nerves, as a skeleton without flesh, smeared with blood and bound with nerves, as a skeleton without flesh and blood, bound with nerves, as a skeleton not bound together, thrown here and there, the bones of the hands here and the bones of the legs there, the knee bone, the thigh bones, the hip bone, the back bone, and the skull thrown here and there. Then he considers, to this body too this same would happen, it has not gone beyond that.

When he abides diligent to dispel, worldly thoughts and recollections fade and his mind gets established in a single point concentrated. Bhikkhus, in this manner too mindfulness of the body in the body is developed.

Again, bhikkhus, the bhikkhu reflects this body as thrown in the charnel ground, as bones turned white the colour of shells, as rotted bones, as bones three years old, decayed and turned to dust Then he considers, to this body too this same would happen, it has not gone beyond that. When he abides diligent to dispel, worldly thoughts and recollections fade and his mind gets established in a single point concentrated. Bhikkhus, in this manner too mindfulness of the body in the body is developed.

Again the bhikkhu secluding the mind from sensual thoughts and defiling thoughts. With thoughts and thought processes, and with joy and pleasantness born of seclusion, abides in the first jhāna. He pervades this body, perfects it and fills it up with joy and pleasantness born of seclusion. Does not leave a single spot untouched with that joy and pleasantness born of seclusion. Bhikkhus, like a bather or his apprentice, would place some bathing powder in a bronze vessel, would mix it sprinkling water and turning itinto a ball of lather. He would mix it well, until the lather becomes a ball and nothing would trickle down from it. In the same manner he would pervade this body, perfect itand fill it up with the joy and pleasantness born of seclusion, not leaving a single spot untouched with that joy and pleasantness. When he abides diligent to dispel, worldly thoughts and recollections fade and his mind gets established in a single point concentrated. Bhikkhus, in this manner too mindfulness of the body in the body is developed.

Again, the bhikkhu overcoming, thoughtsand thought processes, would bring the mind to a single point appeasing it internally. And without thoughts and thought processes and with joy and pleasantness born of concentration would abide in the second jhāna. Then he would pervade this body, perfect it and fill it up with joy and pleasantness born of concentration. He would not leave a single spot untouched with that joy and pleasantness born of concentration. Like a deep pond without inlets from the east, west, north or south, is filled up with cool water springing from the bottom. Rain water too would not enter it. The cool water coming up, would fill it flowing all round and completing it, not leaving a single spot untouched by that cold water. In the same manner he pervades this body, perfects it and fills it up with joy and pleasantness born of concentration. Would not leave a single spot untouched with the joy and pleasantness born of concentration. When he abides diligent to dispel, worldly thoughts and recollections fade and his mind gets established in a single point concentrated. Bhikkhus, in this manner too mindfulness of the body in the body is developed ...

Again, the bhikkhu, with equanimity to joy and detachment, would abide mindful and aware, experiencing pleasantness too with the body and abide in the third jhāna. To this the noble ones say abiding in pleasantness with equanimity. Then he pervades this body, perfects it, fills it up with pleasantness devoid of joy. Wouldnot leave a single spot untouched with that pleasantness devoid of joy. Like, ofblue, red and white lotuses that grow in a pond, some areborn, grow, develop, nourish and bloomin the water. Their tops and roots are pervaded with the cold water and they do not have a place not touched with the cold water. In the same manner he pervades this body, perfects it, and fills it up with pleasantness devoid of joy, touchingeverything with that pleasantness. When he abides diligent to dispel, worldly thoughts and recollections fade and his mind gets established in a single point concentrated. Bhikkhus, in this manner too mindfulness of the body in the body is developed.

Again the bhikkhu, dispelling pleasantness and unpleasantness, and earlier over coming, pleasure and displeasure, with mindfulness purified with equanimity abides in the fourth jhāna. Then. he sits pervading the whole body with that pure and clean mind, not leaving out any spot. Like a man who has covered himself with a white cloth together with the head, without leaving out anything. In the same manner he sits pervading the whole body with that pure clean mind, not leaving out any spot untouched with the pure clean mind. When he abides diligent to dispel, worldly thoughts and recollections fade and his mind gets established in a single point concentrated. Bhikkhus, in this manner too mindfulness of the body in the body is developed.

Bhikkhus, to whomever bhikkhu mindfulness of the body in the body are developed and made much his thoughts of merit are intense with knowledge. Bhikkhus, just as whoseever mind is intensely spread to the great ocean, to him all rivulets are bent to the great ocean. In the same manner to whomever bhikkhu mindfulness of the body in the body is developed and made much his thoughts of merit are intense with knowledge. Bhikkhus, to whomever bhikkhu mindfulness of the body in the body is not developed and not made much, Death finds access to him. Death finds a sign in him. *1) Like a man putting a huge stone in a lump of wet mud. Bhikkhus, would the huge stone find access into the lump of wet mud?

'Venerable sir, it would find access.'

'In the same manner, bhikkhus, a man come to a dry sapless log with an overcover, saying, I will light a fire, and make fire. Bhikkhus, that man, come to the dry sapless log of wood with the overcover rubbing it with the overcover would he light a fire and make fire?'

'Venerable sir, he would light a fire.'

'Bhikkhus, in the same manner, to whomever bhikkhu mindfulness of the body in the body is not developed and not made much, Death finds access to him. Death finds a sign in him.[1] Like when there is an empty water vessel standing upright a man comes with a load of water. Bhikkhus, would it be possible for that man to fill the water vessel?

'Yes, venerable sir, it would be possible.'

'Bhikkhuz, in the same manner to whomever bhikkhu mindfulness of the body in the body is not developed and not made much, Death finds access to him. Death finds a sign in him.

'Bhikkhus, in the same manner, to whomever bhikkhu mindfulness of the body in the body is developed and made much, Death will not find access to him. Death will not find a sign in him. Like a man who would put a small ball of thread on a well formed cross bar. Bhikkhus, do you think it would find access in the well formed cross bar?'

'Venerable sir, it would not.'

'In the same manner bhikkhus, to whomever bhikkhu mindfulness of the body in the body is developed and made much, Death will not find access to him. Death will not find a sign in him. Like a man come to a wet sappy log with an overcover, saying, I will light a fire, and make fire. Bhikkhus, that man, come to the wet sappy log of wood with the overcover rubbing it with the overcover would he light a fire and make fire?'

'Venerable sir, he would not light a fire.'

'Bhikkhus, in the same manner, to whomever bhikkhu mindfulness of the body in the body is developed and made much, Death will not find access to him. Death will not find a sign in him. Like when there is a water vessel standing upright full to the brim, a man comes with a load of water. Bhikkhus, would it be possible for that man to fill the water vessel?

'No, venerable sir, it would not be possible.'

'In the same manner bhikkhus, to whomever bhikkhu mindfulness of the body in the body is developed and made much, Death will not find access to him. Death will not find a sign in him.

Mindfulness of the body in the body developed and made much, directed for the realization of whatever higher knowledge, becomes the eye witness in that and that sphere. As there is a vessel with water filled to the brim, then a strong man comes, in whatever manner he considers, about it, it's water.

Mindfulness of the body in the body developed and made much, when directed for the realization of whatever higher knowledge, it becomes the eye witness in that and that sphere.[2] As on level ground, there is a square pond with embankments, filled to the brim, a strong man comes and opens the enbankments in some manner, isn't it water that comes out?'

'Venerable sir, it is water?'

'Bhikkhus, in the same manner mindfulness of the body in the body developed and made much, when directed for the realization of whatever higher knowledge, it becomes the eye witness in that and that sphere. As on level ground, on the four crossroads, stands a carriage yoked to thoroughbreds, ready with whip and reins. A trainer of horses comes, ascends the carriage and taking the reins in the left hand and the whip in the right, goes where he likes and recalls. In the same manner mindfulness of the body in the body developed and made much, directed for the realization of whatever higher knowledge, becomes the eye witness in that and that sphere.

Bhikkhus, mindfulness of the body in the body, practised, developed, made much, made the vehicle, made the foundation, indulged in the practise with aroused effort, I declare ten benefits. What are the ten?

Overcoming whatever dislikes lives with like and dislike. Overcoming whatever fears lives without fears. Endures cold and heat, hunger and thirst, the sting of gadflies and yellow flies, the heat of the air, the sting of serpents and creepings, badly enunciated words with hurtful contacts. Endures bodily unpleasant feelings that are sharp piercing and unwelcome Becomes a quick and easy gainer of the four jhānas, the high and pleasant abidings of the mind, here and now. Partakes of various supernormal powers, such as one becomes many and many becomes one. Goes unobstructed across walls, embankments, rocks, like going in space. Dives in and out of earth as though in water. Goes unbroken on water as though on earth. Abides in space like birds large and small. Touches and rubs off with the hand, even the moon and sun, so powerful as they are. Thus wields power with the body as far as the world of Brahmā. With the heavenly ear purified beyond human hears both sounds, heavenly and human, far and near. Penetrates and sees the minds of other beings. Sees the greedy mind, the not greedy mind, the angry mind, the not angry mind, the deluded mind and the not deluded mind. Knows the contracted mind, the distracted mind, the developed mind, the undeveloped mind, the noble mindand the mind without compare. Knows the concentrated mind, the unconcentrated mind, the released mind and the unreleased mind. Recollects the manifold previous births. Such as one birth, two births ... re ... . with all modes and details the various previous births. With the purified heavenly eye beyond human sees beings disappearing and appearing in unexalted and exalted states, beautiful and ugly, in good and bad states.

Sees beings according to their actions. Destroying desires, the mind released from desires and released through wisdom, here and now by oneself realizing abides.

Bhikkhus, mindfulness of the body in the body, practised, developed, made much, made the vehicle, made the foundation, indulged in the practise with aroused effort, I declare these ten benefits.

The Blessed One said thus and those bhikkhus delighted in the words of the Blessed One

 


[1] To whomever bhikkhu mindfulness of the body in the body is not developed and made much, Death finds access to him (yassa kassaci bhikkhave, bhikkhuno kāyagatā sati abhāvitā abahulītakā labhati tassa Māro otaraɱ. labhati tassa Māro ārammanaɱ). Māra though alluded to a supernormal being, here it means the defilements in the thoughts of the bhikkhu.

[2] Mindfulness of the body in the body developed and made much, when directed to the realization of whatever higher knowledge, it becomes the eye witness in that and that sphere (yassa kassaci bhikkhave kāyagatā sati bhāvitā bahulīkatā, so yassa yassa abhiññā sacchikaranīyassa Dhammassa cittaɱ abhininnāmeti abhiññāsacchikiriyāya tatra tatr'eva sakkhibhavyataɱ pāpunāti sati sati āyatane)' The thorough development of mindfulness of the body in the body, leads the bhikku for the realization of the higher knowledges. It is said that, developed mindfulness is the eyewitness of those higher knowledges. There is no other evidence of these attainments.


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