Anguttara Nikaya


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Aŋguttara Nikāya
Pañcaka Nipāta
III: Pañcaŋgika Vagga

The Book of the Gradual Sayings
The Book of the Fives
III: The Fivefold

Sutta 23

Upakkilesa Suttaɱ

The Debasements

Translated by E. M. Hare

Copyright The Pali Text Society
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[16] [11]

[1][bodh] Thus have I heard:

Once the Exalted One dwelt near Sāvatthī;
and there he addressed the monks, saying:

'Monks.'

'Yes, lord,' they replied; and the Exalted One said:

'Monks,[1] there are these five debasements of gold
by reason of which
debased gold is neither pliable
nor workable,
nor bright,
but is brittle
and of no use for the best work.

What five?

Iron,
copper,
tin,
lead
and silver.[2]

Monks, these five debase gold.

But when gold is free of these five debasements,
it is pliable
and workable
and bright,
nor is it brittle,
but fit for the best work;
and whatever sort of ornament one wants,
whether a signet-ring
or an ear-ring,
a necklace
or a gold chain,
it can be used for that.[3]

In just the same way, monks,
there are these five debasements of the mind
by reason of which
a debased mind
is neither pliable
nor workable
nor bright,
but is brittle[4]
and not rightly composed
for the destruction of the cankers.

What five?

Sensual desire,
ill-will,
sloth and torpor,
flurry and worry,
and doubt.[5]

[12] But when the mind is free of these five debasements,
it is pliable
and workable
and bright,
nor is it brittle,
but is rightly composed
for the destruction of the cankers;
and one can bend the mind
to the realization by psychic knowledge
of whatever condition
is realizable by psychic knowledge,
and become an eyewitness
in every case,
whatever the range may be.[6]

Should one wish:

"I would experience psychic power
in manifold modes -

Being one,
I would become many;
being many,
I would become one;
I would become visible or invisible;[7]
I would go without let
through walls,
through fences,
through mountains,
as if they were but air;
I would dive in and out of the earth,
as if it were but water;
I would walk on water
without parting it,
as if it were earth;
I would travel cross-legged through the air,
as a bird on the wing;
I would handle and stroke the moon and the sun,
though they be so powerful and strong;
I would scale[8] the heights of the world
even in this body"[9] -

one becomes an eyewitness
in every case,
whatever the range may be.

Should one wish:

"With the celestial means[10] of hearing,
purified and surpassing that of men,
I would hear sounds
both of devas and mankind,
both far and near" -

one becomes an eyewitness
in every case,
whatever the range maybe.

Should one wish:

"I would compass
and know with my mind
the thoughts of other beings,
other persons;
I would know the passionate mind as such,
the mind free therefrom as such;
I would know the malignant mind as such,
the mind free therefrom as such;
I would know the infatuated mind as such,
[13] the mind free therefrom as such;
I would know the congested mind as such,
the mind free therefrom as such;
I would know the diffuse mind as such,
the mind free therefrom as such;
I would know the lofty mind as such,
the low mind as such;
I would know the better mind as such,
the inferior mind as such;
I would know the controlled mind as such,
the uncontrolled as such;
I would know the liberated mind as such,
the mind not freed as such" -

one becomes an eyewitness
in every case
whatever the range may be.

Should one wish:

"I would call to mind
many a previous dwelling,
that is to say,
one birth,
two births,
three births,
four, five,
ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty,
a hundred births,
a thousand births,
a hundred thousand births,
many an aeon of progression,
many an aeon of destruction,
many an aeon of both progression and destruction;
that in each,
such was my name,
such my clan,
such my caste,
such my food,
such my experience of happiness and ill,
such my span of life;
that faring on thence
I arose there,
when such was my name,
such my clan,
such my caste,
such my food,
such my experience of happiness and ill,
such my span of life;
faring on thence
I arose here;
thus I would call to mind
each detail and circumstance
of my many previous dwellings" -

one becomes an eyewitness in every case, whatever the range may be.

Should one wish:

"With the celestial eye,
purified and surpassing that of men,
I would see beings faring on
and being reborn,
some low,
some lofty,
some beautiful,
some ugly,
some happy,
some miserable;
I would see them pass
according to their works;
thus these worthies
were given over to evil ways
in deed,
word
and thought,
defamers of the Ariyans,
holders of wrong views,
reaping the reward accordingly,
such, on the breaking up of the body after death,
were reborn in hell,
the wayward way,
the ill way,
the abyss,
hell;
or,
those acted rightly
in deed,
word
and thought,
they were no defamers of the Ariyans,
but held right vews
and reaped their reward accordingly,
such, on the breaking up of the body after death,
were reborn in heaven,
that happy place of bliss;
thus, with the celestial eye,
purified and surpassing that of men,
I would see beings faring on
and being reborn,
some low,
some lofty,
some beautiful,
some ugly,
some happy,
some miserable;
I would see them pass
according to their works" -

[14] one becomes an eyewitness in every case, whatever the range may be[11]

Should one wish:

"Having destroyed the cankers,
I would enter
and abide in
the emancipation of the mind,
in the emancipation of insight,
which is free of the cankers,
having realized that state
by my own knowledge
even in this very llfe -

one becomes an eyewitness
in every case,
whatever the range may be.

 


[1] Cf. the opening of this sutta with K.S. v, 77 (I think we ought to read 'easily broken up,' not 'nor ...' there, as our text and A. i, 254) and the whole with G.S. i, 231 ff.

[2] This set is stock: S. v, 92; D. ii, 351; J. ii, 296 (rajataɱ for sajjhuɱ there, as our Comy.); Mil. 331. Our text reads sajjhaɱ, S.e. as Comy.

[3] This phrase recurs at A. i, 254 (quoted at Vism. 247), but there the reading is paṭṭakāya for our muddikāya (S.e. agrees).

[4] K.S. loc. cit. 'not'; our Comy. ārammaṇe cuṇṇavicuṇṇabhāvā-pagamanena bhijjanasabhāvaɱ..

[5] For this set see D. i, 246; M. i, 60; S. v. 60; [? Ī179 180?] A. iv, 457, etc.

[6] See G.S. i, 233; M. i, 494; A. iv, 421; the phrase is stock.

[7] See Bu.'s comment at Vism. trsl. 452.

[8] Saŋvatteyyaɱ. S.e.: vasaɱ vatteyyaɱ, see note at K.S. v, 233.

[9] This passage and the following are the stock sets of psychic power; in addition to the references given in n. 1 above see Dial. i, 88; K.S. v, 236. S.e. here does not give in full, but it reads at A. i, 265 (p. 154): abkijjamīno, see P.E.D. s.v.

[10] See Vism. trsl. 472 ff.

[11] These five came to be known as the Abhiññā's, or super-knowledges, and a sixth, of a discrepant kind, was added. Inserted below, it is here out of place.


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