Anguttara Nikaya


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Anguttara Nikāya
Chakka-Nipata
II: Sārāṇīya-Vagga

The Book of the Gradual Sayings
The Book of the Sixes
Chapter II: Be Considerate

Sutta 19

Paṭhama Maraṇasati Suttaṃ

Mindfulness of Death (a)[1]

Translated from the Pali by E.M. Hare.

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[1][than] Thus have I heard:

Once, when the Exalted One was staying in the Brick Hall at Nadika,[2]
he addressed the monks, saying:

'Monks.'

'Lord,'they replied;
and the Exalted One said:

'Monks, mindfulness of death, when made become, made [218] to increase, is very fruitful, great in weal, merging in the deathless, having the deathless as consummation.[3]

Monks, make mindfulness of death become more!'

And when he had spoken thus, a monk said to him:

'I, lord, make mindfulness of death become.'

'How so, monk?'

'Herein, lord, such is my thought:

"Were I day and night
to abide mindful of the Exalted One's word,
much would be done by me" -

thus, lord, I make mindfulness of death become.'

And another said:

'I too, lord, make mindfulness become.'

'How so, monk?'

'Herein, lord, such is my thought:

"Were I day-long
to abide mindful of the Exalted One's word,
much would be done by me" -

thus, lord, I make mindfulness of death become.'

And another said:

'I too, lord, make mindfulness become.'

'How so, monk?'

'Such is my thought:

"Were I for just so long as I eat an alms-meal
to abide mindful of the Exalted One's word,
much would be done by me" -

thus, lord, I make mindfulness of death become.'

And another said:

'I too, lord, make mindfulness become.'

'How so, monk?'

'Such is my thought:

"Were I as I munch and swallow four or five morsels
to abide mindful of the Exalted One's word,
much would be done by me" -

thus, lord, I make mindfulness of death become.'

And another said:

'I too, lord, make mindfulness become.'

'How so, monk?'

'Such is my thought:

"Were I as I munch and swallow only one morsel
to abide mindful of the Exalted One's word,
much would be done by me" -

thus, lord, I make mindfulness of death become.'

And another said:

'I too, lord, make mindfulness become.'

'How so, monk?'

'Such is my thought:

"Were I for just so long as I breathe in and out or breathe out and in,
to abide mindful of the Exalted One's word,
much would be done by me" -

thus, lord, I make mindfulness of death become.'

Aad when he had thus spoken, the Exalted One said to the monks:

Monks, the monk who makes mindfulness of death become thus:

"Were I day and night
to abide mindful of the Exalted One's word,
much would be done by me"

or he who thinks thus:

"Were I day-long
to abide mindful of the Exalted One's word,
much would be done by me"

or he who thinks thus:

"Were I for just so long as I eat an alms-meal
to abide mindful of the Exalted One's word,
much would be done by me" -

or he who thinks thus:

"Were I as I munch and swallow four or five morsels
to abide mindful of the Exalted One's word,
much would be done by me" -

those monks are said live indolently;
slackly they make mindfulness of death become
for the destruction of the cankers.

[219] But the monk who makes mindfulness of death become thus:

"Were I as I munch and swallow only one morsel
to abide mindful of the Exalted One's word,
much would be done by me" -

and he who thinks thus:

"Were I for just so long as I breathe in and out
or breathe out and in,
to abide mindful of the Exalted One's word,
much would be done by me" -

those monks are said to live earnestly;
keenly they make mindfulness of death become
for the destruction of the cankers.

Wherefore, monks, train yourselves thus:

We will live earnestly;[4] keenly will we make mindfulness of death become for the destruction of the cankers.

Train yourselves thus, monks.'

 


[1] Cf. A. iv, 316.

[2] So our text, S.e. and Comy.; see K.S. ii, 51 for variants; Watters' Chwang, ii, 86, 'Nataka' on the Ganges between Vesālī and Patna; possibly, therefore, the name is connected with nadī.

[3] Pariyosānā.

[4] Cf. the dying instruction: 'Earnestly achieve.' See above, p. 92.


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