Aŋguttara Nikāya


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Aŋguttara Nikāya
VIII. Navaka Nipāta
IV. Mahā Vagga

The Book of the Gradual Sayings
VIII. The Book of the Nines
Chapter IV: The Great Chapter

Sutta 36

Jhāna-Nisasaya Suttaɱ aka Jhāna Suttaɱ

Musing

Translated from the Pali by E.M. Hare.

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[1][than] Thus have I heard:

Once the Exalted One was dwelling near Savatthī, at Jeta Grove, in Anāthapiṇḍika's Park
there the Exalted One addressed the Monks, saying:

'Verily,[1] monks, I say canker-destruction[2] depends on the first musing;
verily, I say canker-destruction depends on the second musing
verily, I say canker-destruction depends on the third musing
verily, I say canker-destruction depends on the fourth musing
verily, I say canker-destruction depends on the sphere of infinite space;
verily, I say canker-destruction depends on the sphere of infinite consciousness;
verily, I say canker-destruction depends on on the sphere of nothingness;
verily, I say canker-destruction depends on the sphere of neither perception nor non-perception.

 

§

 

Monks, it is said:

'I say canker-destruction depends on the first musing.'

And wherefore is this said?

Consider the monk who,
aloof from sense desires,
aloof from evil ideas,
enters and abides in the first musing,
wherein applied and sustained thought works,
which is born of solitude
and is full of zest and ease.

Whatever occurs there of form,
feeling,
perception,
minding[3]
or consciousness,
he sees wholly as impermanent phenomena,
as ill,
as a disease,
a boil,
a sting,
a hurt,
an affliction,
as something alien,
gimcrack,
empty,
not the self.[4]

He turns his mind away[5] from such phenomena and, having done so,
brings the mind towards the deathless element with the thought:

N.B.: 'mind-activity' here for 'sankhara' where above [n.3] he uses 'minding'. Also sankhāra involves not only work of mind, but also of speech and body.

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

"This is the peace,
this the summit,
just this:
the stilling of all mind-activity,
the renouncing of all (rebirth) basis,
the destroying of craving,
passionlessness,
ending,
the cool."[6]

And steadfast therein he wins to canker-destruction;
and if he does not win to canker-destruction,
just by reason of that Dhamma zest,
that Dhamma sweetness
he snaps the five lower fetters
and is born spontaneously and,
being not subject to return from that world,
becomes completely cool there.

Monks, suppose an archer or his pupil
were to practice on a strawman or heap of clay;
presently he would become a long-shot,
a rapid shot,
a piercer of great thicknesses:[7]
even so, monks, the monk who,
aloof from sense desires,
aloof from evil ideas,
enters and abides in the first musing,
wherein applied and sustained thought works,
which is born of solitude
and is full of zest and ease
and whatever occurs there of form
feeling,
perception,
minding
or consciousness,
he sees wholly as impermanent phenomena,
as ill,
as a disease,
a boil,
a sting,
a hurt,
an affliction,
as something alien,
gimcrack,
empty,
not the self,
turns his mind away from that
and brings it towards the deathless element
with the thought:

"This is the peace,
this the summit,
just this:
the stilling of all mind-activity,
the renouncing of all (rebirth) basis,
the destroying of craving,
passionlessness,
ending,
the cool."

Steadfast therein he wins to canker-destruction;
and if he does not win to canker-destruction,
just by reason of that Dhamma zest,
that Dhamma sweetness
he snaps the five lower fetters
and is born spontaneously and,
being not subject to return from that world,
becomes completely cool there.

Verily, monks, it is said:

I say canker-destmction depends on the first musing;
and it is for this reason that it is said.

 

§

 

Monks, it is said:

'I say canker-destruction depends on the second musing.'

And wherefore[8] is this said?

Consider the monk who,
suppressing applied and sustained thought,
enters and abides in the second musing,
which is self-evolved,
born of concentration,
full of zest and ease,
free from applied and sustained thought,
wherein the mind becomes calm and one-pointed.

Whatever occurs there of form,
feeling,
perception,
minding
or consciousness,
he sees wholly as impermanent phenomena,
as ill,
as a disease,
a boil,
a sting,
a hurt,
an affliction,
as something alien,
gimcrack,
empty,
not the self.

He turns his mind away from such phenomena and, having done so,
brings the mind towards the deathless element with the thought:

"This is the peace,
this the summit,
just this:
the stilling of all mind-activity,
the renouncing of all (rebirth) basis,
the destroying of craving,
passionlessness,
ending,
the cool."

And steadfast therein he wins to canker-destruction;
and if he does not win to canker-destruction,
just by reason of that Dhamma zest,
that Dhamma sweetness
he snaps the five lower fetters
and is born spontaneously and,
being not subject to return from that world,
becomes completely cool there.

Monks, suppose an archer or his pupil
were to practice on a strawman or heap of clay;
presently he would become a long-shot,
a rapid shot,
a piercer of great thicknesses:
even so, monks, the monk who,
suppressing applied and sustained thought,
enters and abides in the second musing,
which is self-evolved,
born of concentration,
full of zest and ease,
free from applied and sustained thought,
wherein the mind becomes calm and one-pointed,
and whatever occurs there of form
feeling,
perception,
minding
or consciousness,
he sees wholly as impermanent phenomena,
as ill,
as a disease,
a boil,
a sting,
a hurt,
an affliction,
as something alien,
gimcrack,
empty,
not the self,
turns his mind away from that
and brings it towards the deathless element
with the thought:

"This is the peace,
this the summit,
just this:
the stilling of all mind-activity,
the renouncing of all (rebirth) basis,
the destroying of craving,
passionlessness,
ending,
the cool."

Steadfast therein he wins to canker-destruction;
and if he does not win to canker-destruction,
just by reason of that Dhamma zest,
that Dhamma sweetness
he snaps the five lower fetters
and is born spontaneously and,
being not subject to return from that world,
becomes completely cool there.

Verily, monks, it is said:

I say canker-destmction depends on the second musing;
and it is for this reason that it is said.

 

§

 

Monks, it is said:

'I say canker-destruction depends on the third musing.'

And wherefore is this said?

Consider the monk who,
free from the fervour of zest,
mindful and self-possessed,
enters and abides in the third musing,
and experiences in his being
that ease whereof the Ariyans declare:

"He that is tranquil and mindful dwells at ease."

Whatever occurs there of form,
feeling,
perception,
minding
or consciousness,
he sees wholly as impermanent phenomena,
as ill,
as a disease,
a boil,
a sting,
a hurt,
an affliction,
as something alien,
gimcrack,
empty,
not the self.

He turns his mind away from such phenomena and, having done so,
brings the mind towards the deathless element with the thought:

"This is the peace,
this the summit,
just this:
the stilling of all mind-activity,
the renouncing of all (rebirth) basis,
the destroying of craving,
passionlessness,
ending,
the cool."

And steadfast therein he wins to canker-destruction;
and if he does not win to canker-destruction,
just by reason of that Dhamma zest,
that Dhamma sweetness
he snaps the five lower fetters
and is born spontaneously and,
being not subject to return from that world,
becomes completely cool there.

Monks, suppose an archer or his pupil
were to practice on a strawman or heap of clay;
presently he would become a long-shot,
a rapid shot,
a piercer of great thicknesses:
even so, monks, the monk who,
free from the fervour of zest,
mindful and self-possessed,
he enters and abides in the third musing,
and experiences in his being
that ease whereof the Ariyans declare:
"He that is tranquil and mindful dwells at ease,"
and whatever occurs there of form
feeling,
perception,
minding
or consciousness,
he sees wholly as impermanent phenomena,
as ill,
as a disease,
a boil,
a sting,
a hurt,
an affliction,
as something alien,
gimcrack,
empty,
not the self,
turns his mind away from that
and brings it towards the deathless element
with the thought:

"This is the peace,
this the summit,
just this:
the stilling of all mind-activity,
the renouncing of all (rebirth) basis,
the destroying of craving,
passionlessness,
ending,
the cool."

Steadfast therein he wins to canker-destruction;
and if he does not win to canker-destruction,
just by reason of that Dhamma zest,
that Dhamma sweetness
he snaps the five lower fetters
and is born spontaneously and,
being not subject to return from that world,
becomes completely cool there.

Verily, monks, it is said:

I say canker-destmction depends on the third musing;
and it is for this reason that it is said.

 

§

 

Monks, it is said:

'I say canker-destruction depends on the fourth musing.'

And wherefore is this said?

Consider the monk who,
by putting away ease and by putting away ill,
by the passing away of happiness and misery he was wont to feel,
enters and abides in the fourth musing,
which is utter purity of mindfulness and poise
and is free of ease and ill.

Whatever occurs there of form,
feeling,
perception,
minding
or consciousness,
he sees wholly as impermanent phenomena,
as ill,
as a disease,
a boil,
a sting,
a hurt,
an affliction,
as something alien,
gimcrack,
empty,
not the self.

He turns his mind away from such phenomena and, having done so,
brings the mind towards the deathless element with the thought:

"This is the peace,
this the summit,
just this:
the stilling of all mind-activity,
the renouncing of all (rebirth) basis,
the destroying of craving,
passionlessness,
ending,
the cool."

And steadfast therein he wins to canker-destruction;
and if he does not win to canker-destruction,
just by reason of that Dhamma zest,
that Dhamma sweetness
he snaps the five lower fetters
and is born spontaneously and,
being not subject to return from that world,
becomes completely cool there.

Monks, suppose an archer or his pupil
were to practice on a strawman or heap of clay;
presently he would become a long-shot,
a rapid shot,
a piercer of great thicknesses:
even so, monks, the monk who,
by putting away ease and by putting away ill,
by the passing away of happiness and misery he was wont to feel,
enters and abides in the fourth musing,
which is utter purity of mindfulness and poise
and is free of ease and ill
and whatever occurs there of form
feeling,
perception,
minding
or consciousness,
he sees wholly as impermanent phenomena,
as ill,
as a disease,
a boil,
a sting,
a hurt,
an affliction,
as something alien,
gimcrack,
empty,
not the self,
turns his mind away from that
and brings it towards the deathless element
with the thought:

"This is the peace,
this the summit,
just this:
the stilling of all mind-activity,
the renouncing of all (rebirth) basis,
the destroying of craving,
passionlessness,
ending,
the cool."

Steadfast therein he wins to canker-destruction;
and if he does not win to canker-destruction,
just by reason of that Dhamma zest,
that Dhamma sweetness
he snaps the five lower fetters
and is born spontaneously and,
being not subject to return from that world,
becomes completely cool there.

Verily, monks, it is said:

I say canker-destmction depends on the fourth musing;
and it is for this reason that it is said.

 

§

 

Monks, it is said:

'I say canker-destruction depends on the sphere of infinite space.'

And wherefore is this said?

Consider the monk who,
by passing wholly beyond perceptions of form,
by the passing away of the perceptions of sense-reactions,
unattentive to the perceptions of the manifold,
enters and abides in the sphere of infinite space, thinking:
'Space is infinite'.

Whatever occurs there of form,
feeling,
perception,
minding
or consciousness,
he sees wholly as impermanent phenomena,
as ill,
as a disease,
a boil,
a sting,
a hurt,
an affliction,
as something alien,
gimcrack,
empty,
not the self.

He turns his mind away from such phenomena and, having done so,
brings the mind towards the deathless element with the thought:

"This is the peace,
this the summit,
just this:
the stilling of all mind-activity,
the renouncing of all (rebirth) basis,
the destroying of craving,
passionlessness,
ending,
the cool."

And steadfast therein he wins to canker-destruction;
and if he does not win to canker-destruction,
just by reason of that Dhamma zest,
that Dhamma sweetness
he snaps the five lower fetters
and is born spontaneously and,
being not subject to return from that world,
becomes completely cool there.

Monks, suppose an archer or his pupil
were to practice on a strawman or heap of clay;
presently he would become a long-shot,
a rapid shot,
a piercer of great thicknesses:
even so, monks, the monk who,
by passing wholly beyond perceptions of form,
by the passing away of the perceptions of sense-reactions,
unattentive to the perceptions of the manifold,
enters and abides in the sphere of infinite space, thinking:
'Space is infinite'
and whatever occurs there of form
feeling,
perception,
minding
or consciousness,
he sees wholly as impermanent phenomena,
as ill,
as a disease,
a boil,
a sting,
a hurt,
an affliction,
as something alien,
gimcrack,
empty,
not the self,
turns his mind away from that
and brings it towards the deathless element
with the thought:

"This is the peace,
this the summit,
just this:
the stilling of all mind-activity,
the renouncing of all (rebirth) basis,
the destroying of craving,
passionlessness,
ending,
the cool."

Steadfast therein he wins to canker-destruction;
and if he does not win to canker-destruction,
just by reason of that Dhamma zest,
that Dhamma sweetness
he snaps the five lower fetters
and is born spontaneously and,
being not subject to return from that world,
becomes completely cool there.

Verily, monks, it is said:

I say canker-destmction depends on the sphere of infinite space;
and it is for this reason that it is said.

 

§

 

Monks, it is said:

'I say canker-destruction depends on the sphere of infinite consciousness.'

And wherefore is this said?

Consider the monk who,
passing wholly beyond the sphere of infinite space,
enters and abides in the sphere of infinite consciousness, thinking:
'Consciousness is infinite'.

Whatever occurs there of form,
feeling,
perception,
minding
or consciousness,
he sees wholly as impermanent phenomena,
as ill,
as a disease,
a boil,
a sting,
a hurt,
an affliction,
as something alien,
gimcrack,
empty,
not the self.

He turns his mind away from such phenomena and, having done so,
brings the mind towards the deathless element with the thought:

"This is the peace,
this the summit,
just this:
the stilling of all mind-activity,
the renouncing of all (rebirth) basis,
the destroying of craving,
passionlessness,
ending,
the cool."

And steadfast therein he wins to canker-destruction;
and if he does not win to canker-destruction,
just by reason of that Dhamma zest,
that Dhamma sweetness
he snaps the five lower fetters
and is born spontaneously and,
being not subject to return from that world,
becomes completely cool there.

Monks, suppose an archer or his pupil
were to practice on a strawman or heap of clay;
presently he would become a long-shot,
a rapid shot,
a piercer of great thicknesses:
even so, monks, the monk who,
passing wholly beyond the sphere of infinite space,
enters and abides in the sphere of infinite consciousness, thinking:
'Consciousness is infinite,'
and whatever occurs there of form
feeling,
perception,
minding
or consciousness,
he sees wholly as impermanent phenomena,
as ill,
as a disease,
a boil,
a sting,
a hurt,
an affliction,
as something alien,
gimcrack,
empty,
not the self,
turns his mind away from that
and brings it towards the deathless element
with the thought:

"This is the peace,
this the summit,
just this:
the stilling of all mind-activity,
the renouncing of all (rebirth) basis,
the destroying of craving,
passionlessness,
ending,
the cool."

Steadfast therein he wins to canker-destruction;
and if he does not win to canker-destruction,
just by reason of that Dhamma zest,
that Dhamma sweetness
he snaps the five lower fetters
and is born spontaneously and,
being not subject to return from that world,
becomes completely cool there.

Verily, monks, it is said:

I say canker-destmction depends on the sphere of infinite consciousness;
and it is for this reason that it is said.

 

§

 

Monks, it is said:

'I say canker-destruction depends on the sphere of nothingness.'

And wherefore is this said?

Consider the monk who,
passing wholly beyond the sphere of infinite consciousness,
enters and abides in the sphere of nothingness, thinking:
'There is nothing'.

Whatever occurs there of form,
feeling,
perception,
minding
or consciousness,
he sees wholly as impermanent phenomena,
as ill,
as a disease,
a boil,
a sting,
a hurt,
an affliction,
as something alien,
gimcrack,
empty,
not the self.

He turns his mind away from such phenomena and, having done so,
brings the mind towards the deathless element with the thought:

"This is the peace,
this the summit,
just this:
the stilling of all mind-activity,
the renouncing of all (rebirth) basis,
the destroying of craving,
passionlessness,
ending,
the cool."

And steadfast therein he wins to canker-destruction;
and if he does not win to canker-destruction,
just by reason of that Dhamma zest,
that Dhamma sweetness
he snaps the five lower fetters
and is born spontaneously and,
being not subject to return from that world,
becomes completely cool there.

Monks, suppose an archer or his pupil
were to practice on a strawman or heap of clay;
presently he would become a long-shot,
a rapid shot,
a piercer of great thicknesses:
even so, monks, the monk who,
passing wholly beyond the sphere of infinite consciousness,
enters and abides in the sphere of nothingness, thinking:
'There is nothing,'
and whatever occurs there of form
feeling,
perception,
minding
or consciousness,
he sees wholly as impermanent phenomena,
as ill,
as a disease,
a boil,
a sting,
a hurt,
an affliction,
as something alien,
gimcrack,
empty,
not the self,
turns his mind away from that
and brings it towards the deathless element
with the thought:

"This is the peace,
this the summit,
just this:
the stilling of all mind-activity,
the renouncing of all (rebirth) basis,
the destroying of craving,
passionlessness,
ending,
the cool."

Steadfast therein he wins to canker-destruction;
and if he does not win to canker-destruction,
just by reason of that Dhamma zest,
that Dhamma sweetness
he snaps the five lower fetters
and is born spontaneously and,
being not subject to return from that world,
becomes completely cool there.

Verily, monks, it is said:

I say canker-destmction depends on the sphere of nothingness;
and it is for this reason that it is said.

Thus, monks, as far as perception prevails
there is gnosis-penetration.

Moreover, monks, those spheres -
both the attainment of the sphere of neither perception nor nonperception
and the ending of perception and feeling -
are ones which, I say,
ought to be properly[9] made known by musers,[10]
skilled in the attainment,
skilled in emerging therefrom,
after they have attained and emerged therefrom.'

 


[1] P'ahaɱ, 'even I.'

[2] Comy. understands that to mean arahantship.

[3] Sankhāra.

[4] Aṇattaio. Comy. avasavattanaṭṭhena anattato; cf. MA. iii, 146: na attaṭṭhena anattato. The passage recurs at M. i, 435; A. ii, 128; with the list at Mil. 418.

[5] Paṭivāpeti, M. so; P.E.D. from √vap with the meaning here given as context requires; but √vap is to shear or sow, prati- to implant; vv. ll. -pādeti, -ṭṭhāpeti, -ḷapeti (MA.), -cāreti, -vāreti (Hewa. ed. of AA. which is inconsistent in choice). The Comy. is obviously puzzled, observing on -pādeti, nipphannavasena; on -ṭṭhāpeti, nibbindanavasena; on -vāpeti, paṭisaŋharati, moceti, apaneti; also, nibbānavasena nivatteti. I suggest reading, paṭinivatteti: to cause to turn away, to avert, see Mcd's Sk. Dict., s.v. √vṛt.

[6] D. ii, 36; S. i, 136; A. v. 8; Vin. i, 5, etc.

[7] Cf. A. i. 284; ii, 170, 202; J. iv, 494, and Mil. 352.

[8] The text repeats much. [Ed. all omitted passages are inserted here.]

[9] Samakkhātabbāni. Comy. sammā.

[10] We should read jhāyīh'ete.

 


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