Anguttara Nikaya


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Aŋguttara Nikāya
Pañcaka Nipāta
VI: Nīvaraṇa Vagga

The Book of the Gradual Sayings
The Book of the Fives
VI: The Hindrances

Sutta 57

Ṭhāna Suttaɱ

Things To Be Contemplated

Translated by E. M. Hare

Copyright The Pali Text Society
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[71] [59]

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

Once when the Exalted One was dwelling near Sāvatthī;
in Anāthapiṇḍika's Park;
and there he addressed the monks, saying:

'Monks.'

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

'Monks, these five thing's
ought to be often contemplated
by woman and man,
by house-dweller
and by him gone forth.

What five?

Old[1] age can come upon me;
I have not outstripped old age!

This ought to be often contemplated
by woman and man,
by house-dweller
and by him gone forth.

Disease can come upon me;
I have not outstripped disease!

This ought to be often contemplated
by woman and man,
by house-dweller
and by him gone forth.

Death can come upon me;
I have not outstripped death!

This ought to be often contemplated
by woman and man,
by house-dweller
and by him gone forth.

All things near and dear to me
are subject to variableness,[2]
subject to separation!

This ought to be often contemplated
by woman and man,
by house-dweller
and by him gone forth.

I am the result of my own deeds;[3]
heir to deeds;
deeds are matrix;[4]
deeds are kin;
deeds are foundation;[5]
whatever deed I do,
whether good or bad,
I shall become heir to it!

This ought to be often contemplated
by woman and man,
by house-dweller
and by him gone forth.

 


 

Monks, to what right end[6]
ought the thought:
Old age can come upon me;
I have not outstripped old age! —
to be often contemplated by woman and man,
by house-dweller
and by one gone forth?

Monks, beings in youth
are obsessed with the pride of youth;
vaunting[7] in that pride,
they go about working evil
in deed,
word
and thought.

To one who often contemplates that thing,[8]
that pride of youth
in youth
is either got rid of altogether
or reduced.

[60] Monks, to this end
ought the thought:
Old age can come upon me;
I have not outstripped old age! —
to be often contemplated by woman and man,
by house-dweller
and by one gone forth.

Monks, to what right end ought the thought:
Disease can come upon me;
I have not outstripped disease! —
to be often contemplated by woman and man,
by house-dweller
and by one gone forth?

Monks, beings in health
are obsessed with the pride of health;
vaunting in that pride
they go about working evil
in deed,
word
and thought.

To one who often contemplates that thing,
that pride of health
in health
is either got rid of altogether
or reduced.

Monks, it is to this end
ought the thought:
Disease can come upon me;
I have not outstripped disease! —
to be often contemplated by woman and man,
by house-dweller
and by one gone forth.

Monks, to what right end ought the thought:
Death can come upon me;
I have not outstripped death! —
to be often contemplated by woman and man,
by house-dweller
and by one gone forth?

Monks, beings in the fulness of life
are obsessed with the pride of life;
vaunting in that pride
they go about working evil
in deed,
word
and thought.

To one who often contemplates that thing,
that pride of life
in the fulness of life
is either got rid of altogether
or reduced.

Monks, it is to this, end
ought the thought:
Death can come upon me;
I have not outstripped death! —
to be often contemplated by woman and man,
by house-dweller
and by one gone forth.

Monks, to what right end ought the thought:
All things near and dear to me
are subject to variableness,
subject to separation! —
to be often contemplated by woman and man,
by house-dweller
and by one gone forth?

Monks, beings are obsessed
with a passionate desire
for those who are dear;
excited by that passion
they go about working evil
in deed,
word
and thought.

To one who often contemplates that thing,
that passionate desire
is either got rid of altogether
or reduced.

Monks, it is to this end
ought the thought:
All things near and dear to me
are subject to variableness,
subject to separation! —
to be often contemplated by woman and man,
by house-dweller
and by one gone forth.

Monks, to what right end ought the thought:
I am the result of my own deeds;
heir to deeds;
deeds are matrix;
deeds are kin;
deeds are foundation;
whatever deed I do,
whether good or bad,
I shall become heir to it! —
to be often contemplated by woman and man,
by house-dweller
and by one gone forth?

Monks, the ways of beings are evil
in deed,
evil in word
and evil in thought.

To one who often contemplates that thing,
those evil ways
are got rid of altogether
or reduced.

Monks, to this end ought the thought;
I am the result of my own deeds;
heir to deeds;
deeds are matrix;
deeds are kin;
deeds are foundation;
whatever deed I do,
whether good or bad,
I shall become heir to it! —
to be often contemplated by woman and man,
by house-dweller
and by one gone forth.

 


 

Monks,[9] the Ariyan disciple reflects thus:

I am not the only one who is subject to old age,
who has not outstripped old age;
[61] but wheresoever there are beings,
coming and going,
faring on and arising,
all are subject to old age,
none has outstripped it.

And while he often contemplates this thing,
the Way comes into being;
and that Way he follows,
makes become
and develops;
and in doing so
the fetters[10] are got rid of,
the tendencies[11] are removed.

So too, of the thought:

I am not the only one who is subject to disease,
who has not outstripped disese;
but wheresoever there are beings,
coming and going,
faring on and arising,
all are subject to disease,
none has outstripped it.

And while he often contemplates this thing,
the Way comes into being;
and that Way he follows,
makes become
and develops;
and in doing so
the fetters are got rid of,
the tendencies are removed.

So too, of the thought:

I am not the only one who is subject to death,
who has not outstripped death;
but wheresoever there are beings,
coming and going,
faring on and arising,
all are subject to death,
none has outstripped it.

And while he often contemplates this thing,
the Way comes into being;
and that Way he follows,
makes become
and develops;
and in doing so
the fetters are got rid of,
the tendencies are removed.

So too, of the thought:

I am not the only one
to whom all things near and dear
are subject to variableness,
subject to separation,
who has not outstripped variableness
outstripped separation
in all things near and dear
but wheresoever there are beings,
coming and going,
faring on and arising,
all are subject to variableness,
subject to separation,
none has outstripped it.

And while he often contemplates this thing,
the Way comes into being;
and that Way he follows,
makes become
and develops;
and in doing so
the fetters are got rid of,
the tendencies are removed.

So too, of the thought:

I am not the only one
who is the result of his own deeds;
heir to deeds;
who has not outstripped
being the result of his own deeds
but wheresoever there are beings,
coming and going,
faring on and arising,
all are the result of their own deeds;
heir to their deeds;
none have outstripped
being the result of their own deeds..

And while he often contemplates this thing,
the Way comes into being;
and that Way he follows,
makes become
and develops;
and in doing so
the fetters are got rid of,
the tendencies are removed.

Having[12] these things: disease, old age and death —
As they, so men; repulsive is the thought to average man.
Not meet that I myself should be repelled
At creatures having these, seeing that I
Do lead my life no otherwise than he.

While living thus, I having come to know
Religion[13] wherein no substrate is found,
I who was wont to vaunt in health, youth, life,
O'ereame that pride and from the peace beheld
Renunciation's[14] coolth. Nibbāna seen,
Strength came to me. Ne'er now can I become
Addict of sense desires. I will become
A man who never turning back (hath ta'en)
The yonder-faring of the godly life.'[15]

 


[1] For the first three Cf. A. i, 145 (G.S. i, 129); for the third S. i, 97; for the fourth D. ii, 118, 144, also DA. ii, 564.

[2] Nānābhāvo vinābhāvo; Cf. James i, 17: 'Father of lights, with whom there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.'

[3] Kammassako. Comy. attano santakaɱ, This passage is stock; see below V, Ī 161; M. iii, 203; A. v, 88; Mil. 65; Vism. 301. Trsl. of M. and Vism. render in the sense of possession.

[4] Yoni. Comy. kāraṇaɱ..

[5] Paṭiaaraṇo. Comy. patiṭṭho.

[6] Cf. below V, § 144.

Shakespear, Sonnets, XV:

When I consider every thing that grows
Holds in perfection but a little moment,
That this huge stage presenteth nought but shows
Whereon the stars in secret influence comment;
When I perceive that men as plants increase,
Cheered and check'd even by the self-same sky,
Vaunt in their youthful sap, at height decrease,
And wear their brave state out of memory;
Then the conceit of this inconstant stay
Sets you most rich in youth before my sight,
Where wasteful Time debateth with Decay,
To change your day of youth to sullied night;
  And all in war with Time for love of you,
  As he takes from you, I engraft you new.

— The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, The cambridge Edition Text, as edited by William Aldis Wright. Doubleday, Doran & Company, Inc., Garden City, New York, 1936.

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

[7] For the same idea Cf. Shakespeare's Sonnet xv.

[8] Ṭhānaɱ, that is, the thought of old age, etc

[9] Sace of our text, in some MSS. and S.e. is omitted.

[10] Comy. the ten; see Dial. iii, 225; A. v, 17.

[11] Comy. the seven; see Dial. iii, 237; A. iv, 9; Cpd. 172. (Satta anusayā vigatattā paricchinnā parivaṭumā honti, see P.E.D. s.v. parivaṭuma.)

[12] This gāthā recurs at A. i, 147, with some different readings; AA. ii, 242 is fuller than Comy. hare.

[13] Dhammaɱ nirūpadhiɱ. Comy. arahattamaggaɱ.

[14] Nekkhammaɱ daṭṭhu khemato (S.e. v.l. khemataɱ, see G.S. n.). Comy. Pabbajjaɱ khemato disvā. This pāda also recurs at Sn. 424 and 1098 SnA. 385: pabbajito'mhi; but at 598: nibbānaṇ ... kheman ti disvā.

[15] Comy. magga-brahmacariya-parāyano.


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