Anguttara Nikaya


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Aŋguttara Nikāya
4. Catukka Nipāta
IV. Cakka Vagga

The Book of the Gradual Sayings
The Book of the Fours
IV: The Wheel

Sutta 37

Aparihāniya Suttaɱ

Incapable of Falling Away

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

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[39] [45]

[1][than][bodh]Thus have I heard:

On a certain occasion the Exalted One was staying near Sāvatthī.

There the Exalted One addressed the monks, saying:

'Monks.'

'Yes, lord,' replied those monks to the Exalted One.

The Exalted One said:

'Monks, possessed of four qualities
a man is incapable of falling away;
he is near to Nibbāna.

What are the four?

Herein a monk is perfect in virtue,
he is guarded as to the doors of the sense-facuities,
he is moderate in eating,
he is given to watchfulness.

And in what way is a monk perfect in virtue?

Herein a monk is virtuous,[1]
he dwells restrained with the restraint of the obligations:
perfect in the practice of right conduct
he sees danger in the slightest faults:
he takes up and [46] trains himself
in the stages of training.

Thus a monk is perfect in virtue.

And how is a monk guarded
as to the doors of the sense-faculties?

Herein[2] a monk,
seeing an object with the eye,
does not grasp at the general features
or at the details thereof.

Since coveting and dejection,
evil, unprofitable states,
might flow in upon one
who dwells with the faculty of the eye uncontrolled,
be applies himself to such control,
he sets a guard over the faculty of the eye,
attains control thereof.

When he hears a sound with the ear,
does not grasp at the general features
or at the details thereof.

Since coveting and dejection,
evil, unprofitable states,
might flow in upon one
who dwells with the faculty of the ear uncontrolled,
be applies himself to such control,
he sets a guard over the faculty of the ear,
attains control thereof.

When he smells a scent with the nose,
does not grasp at the general features
or at the details thereof.

Since coveting and dejection,
evil, unprofitable states,
might flow in upon one
who dwells with the faculty of the nose uncontrolled,
be applies himself to such control,
he sets a guard over the faculty of the nose,
attains control thereof.

When he tastes a savour with the tongue,
does not grasp at the general features
or at the details thereof.

Since coveting and dejection,
evil, unprofitable states,
might flow in upon one
who dwells with the faculty of the tongue uncontrolled,
be applies himself to such control,
he sets a guard over the faculty of the tongue,
attains control thereof.

When he contacts tangibles with the body,
does not grasp at the general features
or at the details thereof.

Since coveting and dejection,
evil, unprofitable states,
might flow in upon one
who dwells with the faculty of the body uncontrolled,
be applies himself to such control,
he sets a guard over the faculty of the body,
attains control thereof.

When with the mind he cognizes mental states
does not grasp at the general features
or at the details thereof.

Since coveting and dejection,
evil, unprofitable states,
might flow in upon one
who dwells with the faculty of the mind uncontrolled,
be applies himself to such control,
he sets a guard over the faculty of the mind,
attains control thereof.

That is how a monk has the doors of the sense-faculties guarded.

And how is a monk moderate in eating?

Herein a monk takes his food
thoughtfully and prudently,[3]
not for sport,
not for indulgence,
not for personal charm or adornment,
but just enough for the support,
for the continuance of body,
for its resting unharmed,
to help the living of the God-life,
with this thought:

'My former feeling I check
and I set going no new feeling.'

Thus maintenance[4] shall be mine,
blamelessness
and comfort in life.

Thus a monk is moderate in eating.

And how is a monk given to watchfulness?

By day a monk walks up and down
and then sits,
thus cleansing his heart
of conditions that should be checked.[5]

By night for the first watch
he walks up and down
and then sits,
thus cleansing his heart
of conditions that should be checked.

In the middle watch of the night,
lying on his right side
he takes up the lion [47] posture,[6]
resting one foot on the other,
and thus collected and composed
fixes his thoughts on rising up again.[7]

In the last watch of the night,
at early dawn,
he walks up and down,
then sits,
and so cleanses his heart
of conditions that should be checked.

That is how a monk is given to watchfulness.

Possessed of these four qualities
a monk is incapable of falling away:
he is near to Nibbāna.

Stablished in virtue, faculty-controlled,
Moderate in eating, given to watchfulness,
Thus dwelling day and night unwearied,
Making become good dhamma[8] for to win
Peace from the toil,[9] in earnestness delighting,
In slackness seeing danger, - such a monk
Incapable of failure nears the Goal.'[10]

 


[1] Cf. G.S. i, 59.

[2] Cf. G.S. i, 98.

[3] Cf. infra, Ī 159.

[4] Yātrā.

[5] Āvararṇīyā. At G.S. i, 98 I trans. 'that hinder.' Cf. M. i, 56, iii, 3 (Pali Dict. wrongly states that it is used only negatively). Comy. at A. i, 114 says 'the five hindrances.' However, the form of the word seems to imply that there are states to be checked, not 'which may hinder,' as gen. translated.

[6] Cf. D. ii, 134; infra, text 244.

[7] Uṭṭhāna-saññaɱ manasikaritvā (or? 'exertion').

[8] Cf. Bhāvento maggam utiamaɱ, Sn. 1130.

[9] Yoga-kkhemassa. Comy. takes it to mean the four yogā (or oghā) of kāma, bhāva, diṭṭhi, avijjā.

[10] = Dhp. ver. 32.


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