Anguttara Nikaya


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Anguttara Nikaya
Pañcaka-Nipāta
XIX. Arañña Vaggo

The Book of the Gradual Sayings
The Book of the Fives
Chapter XIX: The Forest

Sutta 188

Ekāsanika Suttaɱ

Lone Sitters[ed1]

Translated by E. M. Hare

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[1] 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, these five are lone sitters.

What five?

One is a lone sitter
out of folly and blindness;

one out of evil desires and longings;

one foolish and mind-tossed;[2]

one at the thought:

"It is praised by Buddhas and their disciples";

and one is a lone sitter
just because his wants are little,
just for contentment,
just to mark[3] (his own faults),
just for seclusion,
just because it is the very thing.[4]

Verily, monks, of these five
who are lone sitters,
he who is a lone sitter
just because his wants are little,
for contentment,
to mark (his own faults),
for seclusion,
just because it is the very thing —
he of the five
is topmost,
best,
foremost,
highest,
elect.

Monks, just[5] as from the cow comes milk,
from milk cream,
from cream butter,
from butter ghee,
from ghee the skim of ghee
there reckoned topmost;
even so, monks,
of these five lone sitters,
he who is a lone sitter
just because his wants are little,
for contentment,
to mark (his own faults),
for seclusion
and just because it is the very thing —
he of the five
is topmost,
best,
foremost,
highest,
elect.'

 


[ed1] Ekāsanika, Hare has 'lone sitter'; Bhk. Bodhi has 'one-session-practice' and defines it as being one who eats his food in one sitting, when he gets up the meal is finished; P.E.D. has 'one who keeps to himself'. Both of these are recommended practices that are the hallmarks of extra effort. Hare has abridged this sutta down to it's title referencing AN 5.181. Except for this first one, which I have edited so as called for by the change of subject, I have left the footnotes intact as they apply.

[2] Cf. above, Ī 93.

[3] Sallekha, from \/Ḥlikh; F. Dial. i, 10: 'purgation of evil'; Dial iii, 109: resigned';; but it is as in the Psalms (cxxx, 3): 'If thou shouldeet mark iniquities, who can stand?'

[4] Idam aṭṭhitaɱ, to S.e., and Comy. which explains: imāya kalyāṇāya paṭipattiyā attho etassa.

[5] This simile recurs at S. iii, 264; A. ii, 95; v, 182; Cf. J. vi, 206.


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