Anguttara Nikaya


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Aŋguttara-Nikāya
III. Tikanipāta
XII. Āpāyika Vagga

The Book of the
Gradual Sayings
or
More-Numbered Suttas

Part III
The Book of the Threes

Chapter XII. The Downfall

Sutta 114

The Sphere of Infinite Space

Translated from the Pali by
F.L. Woodward, M.A.

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[1][pts][bd] 'Monks, these three sorts of person are found to exist in the world.

What three?

Herein, monks, a certain person, by utterly transcending consciousness of form, by the disappearance of consciousness of resistance, by paying no heed to the diversity of consciousness, regarding space as infinite, reaches up to and abides in the sphere of infinite space. He enjoys it, longs for it and finds happiness therein. Established therein, given thereto, generally spending his time therein and not falling away therefrom, when he makes an end he is reborn in the company of the Devas who have reached the sphere of infinite space.

Now, monks, the life of those Devas is 20,000 cycles. Therein the ordinary man stays and spends his lifetime according to the life-span of those Devas: then he goes to Purgatory or to the womb of an animal or to the Realm of Ghosts. But a disciple of the Exalted One, after staying there and spending his lifetime according to the life-span of those Devas, finally passes away in that very state.

Such, monks, is the distinction, the specific feature,[1] the difference between the educated Ariyan disciple and the uneducated ordinary man in the matter of destiny and rebirth.

[2][pts][bd] Again, monks, here we have a certain person who, by utterly transcending the sphere of infinite space, regarding consciousness as infinite, reaches up to and abides in the sphere[2] of infinite consciousness. He enjoys it, longs for it and finds happiness therein. Established therein, given thereto, generally spending his time therein and not falling away therefrom, when he makes an end he is reborn in the company of the Devas who have reached the sphere of infinite consciousness.

Now, monks, the life of those Devas is 40,000 cycles. Thereiun the ordinary man stays and spends his time according to the life-span of those Devas, then he goes to Purgatory or to the womb of an animal or to the Realm of Ghosts. But a disciple of the Exalted One, after staying there and spending his lifetime according to the life-span of those Devas, finally passes away in that very state.

Such, monks, is the distinction, the specific feature, the difference between the educated Ariyan disciple and the uneducated ordinary man in the matter of destiny and rebirth.

[3][pts][bd] Again, monks, we have a certain person who, by utterly transcending the sphere of infinite consciousness, with the idea of "nothing at all exists," reaches up to and abides in the sphere of nothingness. He enjoys it, longs for it and finds happiness therein. Established therein, given thereto, generally spending his time therein and not falling away therefrom, when he makes an end he is reborn in the company of those Devas who have reached the sphere of nothingness.

Now the life-span of those Devas is 60,000 cycles. Therein the ordinary man stays and spends his time according to the life-span of those Devas, then he goes to Purgatory or the womb of an animal, to the Realm of Petas. But the disciple of the Exalted One, after staying there and spending his lifetime according to the life-span of those Devas, finally passes away in that very state.

Such, monks, is the distinctioin, the specific feature, the difference between the educated Ariyan disciple and the uneducated ordinary man in the matter of destiny and rebirth.

These, monks, are the three sorts of person found existing in the world.

 


[1] Cf. supra, text 199. Here Comy. has adhippāyāsa = akhika-payogo.

[2] Text should read viññāṇ'ānañc-.


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