Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikāya
I. Mūlapaṇṇāsa
1. Mūlapariyāya Vagga

The Middle Length Sayings
I. The First Fifty Discourses
1. The Division of the Synopsis of Fundamentals

Sutta 6

Ākaṇkheyya Suttaɱ[1]

Discourse On What One May Wish

Translated from the Pali by I.B. Horner, M.A.
Associate of Newham College, Cambridge
First Published in 1954

Copyright The Pali Text Society
Commercial Rights Reserved
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[1][chlm][wrrn][ntbb][upal] THUS have I heard:[2]:

At one time the Lord was staying near Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery.

While he was there the Lord addressed the monks, saying:

"Monks."

"Revered one," these monks answered the Lord in assent.

The Lord spoke thus:

"Fare along, monks, possessed of moral habit,
possessed of the Obligations,
fare along controlled by the control of the Obligations,
possessed of right conduct and resort,
seeing danger in the slightest faults;
undertaking them rightly,
train yourselves in the rules of training.[3]

Monks, if a monk should wish:

'May I be agreeable to my fellow Brahma-farers,
liked by them,
revered and respected,'

he should be one who fulfils the moral habits,
who is intent on mental tranquillity within,[4]
whose meditation is uninterrupted,
who is endowed with vision,[5]
a cultivator of empty places.[6]

Monks, if a monk should wish:

'May I be one who receives the requisites of robes,
almsfood,
lodgings,
and medicines for the sick,'

he should be one who fulfils the moral habits,
who is intent on mental tranquillity within,
whose meditation is uninterrupted,
who is endowed with vision,
a cultivator of empty places.

Monks, if a monk should wish:

'May these services of those[7] from whom I enjoy the requisites of robes, almsfood, lodgings, requisites for the sick, be of great merit, of great advantage,'

he should be one who fulfils the moral habits,
who is intent on mental tranquillity within,
whose meditation is uninterrupted,
who is endowed with vision,
a cultivator of empty places.

Monks, if a monk should wish:

'May this be a great fruit,
a great [42] advantage
to those of my kith and kin
who, their minds pleased,
recollect the departed
who have passed away,'[8]

he should be one who fulfils the moral habits,
who is intent on mental tranquillity within,
whose meditation is uninterrupted,
who is endowed with vision,
a cultivator of empty places.

Monks, if a monk should wish:

'May I be one
who overcomes aversion[9]
and liking[10],
and may aversion not overcome me,
may I fare along
constantly conquering any aversion that has arisen,'

he should be one who fulfils the moral habits,
who is intent on mental tranquillity within,
whose meditation is uninterrupted,
who is endowed with vision,
a cultivator of empty places.

Monks, if a monk should wish:

'May I be one
who overcomes fear and dread,
and may fear and dread
not overcome me,
may I fare along constantly conquering
any fear and dread that has arisen,'

he should be one who fulfils the moral habits,
who is intent on mental tranquillity within,
whose meditation is uninterrupted,
who is endowed with vision,
a cultivator of empty places.

Monks, if a monk should wish:

'May I be one
who, at will,[11]
without trouble,
without difficulty,
acquires the four meditations
which are of the purest mentality,
abidings in ease here-now,[12]'

he should be one who fulfils the moral habits,
who is intent on mental tranquillity within,
whose meditation is uninterrupted,
who is endowed with vision,
a cultivator of empty places.

Monks, if a monk should wish:

'Those incorporeal deliverances[13] which are calmed,
transcending forms,
may I fare along
having reaHsed[14] them
while in the body,'[15],'

he should be one who fulfils the moral habits,
who is intent on mental tranquillity within,
whose meditation is uninterrupted,
who is endowed with vision,
a cultivator of empty places.

Monks, if a monk should wish:

'By the total destruction
of the three fetters
may I be a stream-attainer,[16]
not liable to the Downfall,
assured,
bound for awakening,'

he should be one who fulfils the moral habits,
who is intent on mental tranquillity within,
whose meditation is uninterrupted,
who is endowed with vision,
a cultivator of empty places.

Monks, if a monk should wish:

'By the total destruction
of the three fetters,
by the reduction of attachment,
aversion,
confusion,
may I be a once-retumer;
having come back once only to this [43] world,
may I make an end of anguish,'[17],'

he should be one who fulfils the moral habits,
who is intent on mental tranquillity within,
whose meditation is uninterrupted,
who is endowed with vision,
a cultivator of empty places.

Monks, if a monk should wish:

'By the total destruction
of the five fetters
that bind one to the lower world,[18]
may I be of spontaneous uprising,
one who has utterly attained to Nibbāna there,[19] not liable to return from that world,[20],'

he should be one who fulfils the moral habits,
who is intent on mental tranquillity within,
whose meditation is uninterrupted,
who is endowed with vision,
a cultivator of empty places.

Monks, if a monk should wish:

'May I experience the various forms of psychic power:[21]

Having been one
may I be manifold,
having been manifold
may I be one;
manifest or invisible
may I go unhindered through a wall,
through a rampart,
through a mountain
as if through air;
may I plunge into the ground
and shoot up again
as if in water;
may I walk upon the water
without parting it
as if on the ground;
sitting cross-legged
may I travel through the air
like a bird on the wing;
with my hand
may I rub and stroke this moon and sun
although they are of such mighty power and majesty;
and even as far as the Brahma-world
may I have power in respect of my body,'[22],'

he should be one who fulfils the moral habits,
who is intent on mental tranquillity within,
whose meditation is uninterrupted,
who is endowed with vision,
a cultivator of empty places.

Monks, if a monk should wish:

'By the purified deva-like hearing
which surpasses that of men,
may I hear both (kinds of) sounds -
deva-Hke ones
and human ones,
whether they be far or near,'

he should be one who fulfils the moral habits,
who is intent on mental tranquillity within,
whose meditation is uninterrupted,
who is endowed with vision,
a cultivator of empty places.[23]

Monks, if a monk should wish:

'May I know intuitively by mind
the minds of other beings,[24]
of other individuals,
so that I may know intuitively
of a mind that is full of attachment[25]
that it is full of attachment;
or so that I may know intuitively
of a mind that is without attachment,
that it is without attachment;
or so that I may know intuitively
of a mind that is full of aversion,
that it is full of aversion;
or so that I may know intuitively
of a mind that is without aversion,
that it is without [44] aversion;
or so that I may know intuitively
of a mind that is full of confusion,
that it is full of confusion;
or so that I may know intuitively
of a mind that is without confusion,
that it is without confusion;
or or so that I may know intuitively
of a mind that is contracted
that it is contracted;
or so that I may know intuitively
of a mind that is distracted
that it is distracted;
or so that I may know intuitively
of a mind that has become great
that it has become great;
or so that I may know intuitively
of a mind that has not become great
that it has not become great;
or so that I may know intuitively
of a mind with (some other mental state) superior to it
that it has (some other mental state) superior to it;
or so that I may know intuitively
of a mind that has no (other mental state) superior to it
that it has no (other mental state) superior to it;
or so that I may know intuitively
or of a mind that is composed
that it is composed;
or so that I may know intuitively
or of a mind that is not composed
that it is not composed;
or so that I may know intuitively
or of a mind that is freed
that it is freed;
or so that I may know intuitively
of a mind that is not freed
that it is not freed,'

he should be one who fulfils the moral habits,
who is intent on mental tranquillity within,
whose meditation is uninterrupted,
who is endowed with vision,
a cultivator of empty places.

Monks, if a monk should wish:

'May I recollect (my) manifold former habitations,[26] that is to say,
one birth,
two births,
three births, four births, five births,
ten births, twenty births, forty births, fifty births,
a hundred births,
a thousand births,
a hundred thousand births,
many an eon of integration,
many an eon of disintegration,
many an eon of integration-disintegration;
such a one was I by name,
having such and such a clan,
such and such a colour,
so was I nourished,
such and such pleasant and painful experiences were mine,
so did the span of life end.

Passing from this,
I came to be in another state
where such a one was I by name,
having such and such a clan,
such and such a colour,
so was I nourished,
such and such pleasant and painful experiences were mine,
so did the span of life end.

Passing from this I arose here.

Thus may I remember (my) divers former habitations
in all their modes and detail,'

he should be one who fulfils the moral habits,
who is intent on mental tranquillity within,
whose meditation is uninterrupted,
who is endowed with vision,
a cultivator of empty places.

Monks, if a monk should wish:

'With the purified deva-vision
surpassing that of men,[27]
may I behold beings
as they pass hence
or come to be -
mean,
excellent,
fair,
foul,
in a good bourn,
in a bad bourn,
according to the consequences of their deeds;
may I comprehend:

Indeed these worthy beings
were possessed of wrong conduct in body,
speech
and thought,
they were scoffers at the ariyans,
holding a wrong view,
incurring deeds consequent on a wrong view -
these,
at the breaking up of the body after dying,
have arisen in a sorrowful state,
a bad bourn,
the abyss,
Niraya Hell.

But these worthy beings
who were possessed of good conduct in body,
speech
and thought,
who were not scoffers at the ariyans,
holding a right view,
incurring deeds consequent on a right view - [45]
these
at the breaking up of the body after dying
have arisen in a good bourn,
a heaven world.

Thus, with the purified deva-vision
surpassing that of men
may I behold beings
as they pass hence,
as they arise -
mean,
excellent,
fair,
foul,
in a good bourn,
in a bad bourn,
according to the consequences of their deeds,'

he should be one who fulfils the moral habits,
who is intent on mental tranquillity within,
whose meditation is uninterrupted,
who is endowed with vision,
a cultivator of empty places.

Monks, if a monk should wish:

'By the destruction of the cankers,[28]
having realised by my own super-knowledge
here and now
the freedom of mind,[29]
and freedom through wisdom[30]
that are cankerless,
entering thereon,
may I abide therein,'

he should be one who fulfils the moral habits,
who is intent on mental tranquillity within,
whose meditation is uninterrupted,
who is endowed with vision,
a cultivator of empty places.

That of which I have spoken thus was spoken in relation to this:

Fare along, monks, possessed of moral habit,
possessed of the Obligations,
fare along controlled by the control of the Obligations,
possessed of right conduct and resort,
seeing danger in the slightest faults;
undertaking them rightly,
train yourselves in the rules of training."

Thus spoke the Lord.

Delighted, these monks rejoiced in what the Lord had said.

Discourse on What one may Wish: the Sixth

 


[1] At MA. i. 15, DA.. i. 50 this Sutta is mentioned as an example of a discourse preached by the Buddha of his own accord, attano ajjhāsayen'eva.

[2] Cf. A. v. 131.

[3] MA. i. 155 says all is given in detail in Vism. (p. 16f.). Cf. D. i. 63; Miln. 375.

[4] Cf. M. i. 213; It. p. 39.

[5] vipassanā. A sevenfold viewing, anupassanā, is mentioned at MA. i. 157, Pts. i. 10.

[6] Cf. Khp. VII.

[7] MA. i. 159 says devas or men.

[8] Cf. Sn. 590.

[9] MA. i. 160, for remote lodgings. Cf. M. iii. 97, A. iv. 291, v, 132 for this whole passage.

[10] MA. i. 160, to the five strands of sense-pleasures.

[11] Cf. M. i. 354; A. ii 23, iii. 114, 133, v. 132, etc.

[12] diṭṭhadhamma is called the present individuality. Here the meaning is "of beings abiding in ease," for which a synonym is the four meditations on the fine-material plane.

[13] Cf. D. ii. 70.

[14] phassitvā. MA. i. 162 says nāmakāyena phusitvā; pāpuṇitvā adhigantvā.

[15] kāyena.

[16] MA. i. 162 says "stream" is a synonym for the Way and quotes S. v. 347, adding that here (i.e. above) the name is given for a fruit of the Way.

[17] MA. i. 163 explains dukkha bere as vaṭṭadukkha, the anguish of whirling (on in recurrent birth).

[18] See M. Sutta 64.

[19] This formula therefore is not "peculiar to Samy. and Aug.", as stated at G.S. ii. 243, n. 1.

[20] The Brahma-world, MA. i. 164.

[21] M. i. 494; D. i. 78; A. i. 170, 255, etc.

[22] This is called the marvel of psychic power at A. i. 170. Cf. also S. v. 282, etc.

[23] Cf. A. i. 255.

[24] As at e.g. M. i. 59, 69. See notes at p. 76, below.

[25] Cf. M. i. 59, 69, 495; A. i. 255; D. i. 80, etc.

[26] Cf. M. i. 22; A. i. 255, etc.

[27] Cf. M. i. 22-23; A. i. 256, etc.

[28] Cf. M. i. 22-23, A. i. 256.

[29] MA. i. 164 says this is contemplation that is freed from attachment.

[30] MA. i. 164 says this should be so called because it is freed from ignorance.


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