Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikāya
III. Upari Paṇṇāsa
3. Suññata Vagga

The Middle Length Sayings
III. The Final Fifty Discourses
3. The Division on Emptiness

Sutta 127

Anuruddha Suttaɱ

Discourse with Anuruddha

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

Copyright The Pali Text Society
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[1][chlm][upal] THUS HAVE I HEARD:

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

Then the carpenter Fivetools[1] addressed a certain man,
saying:

"Come you, my good man,
approach the venerable Anuruddha;
having approached him,
in my name salute the venerable Anuruddha's feet with your head
and speak thus:

'Fivetools the carpenter, revered sir,
salutes the venerable Anuruddha's feet with his head
and speaks thus:

'Revered sir,
may the venerable Anuruddha
and three others[2]
consent to a meal with Fivetools the carpenter
on the morrow;
and, revered sir,
may the venerable Anuruddha arrive punctually
as Fivetools the carpenter is very busy
and has much to do
that is to be done for the king.'"

And the man, having answered
"Yes, sir,"
in assent to Fivetools the carpenter,
approached the venerable Anuruddha;
having approached and greeted the venerable Anuruddha,
he sat down at a respectful distance.

As he was sitting down at a respectful distance
this man spoke thus to the venerable Anuruddha:

"Fivetools the carpenter
salutes the venerable Anuruddha's feet with his head
and speaks thus:

'Revered sir,
may the venerable Anuruddha
and three others
consent to a meal with Fivetools the carpenter
on the morrow;
and, revered sir,
may the venerable Anuruddha arrive punctually
as Fivetools the carpenter is very busy
and has much to do
that is to be done for the king.'"

The venerable Anuruddha consented by becoming silent.

Then the venerable Anuruddha,
towards the end of that night,
having dressed in the early morning,
taking his bowl and robe
approached the abode of Fivetools the carpenter;
having approached,
he sat down on the appointed seat.

Then Fivetools the carpenter
with his own hand
served and satisfied the venerable Anuruddha
with sumptuous food,
solid and soft.

And when the venerable Anuruddha had eaten
and had withdrawn his hand from the bowl, [191] Fivetools the carpenter,
taking a low seat,
sat down at a respectful distance.

As Fivetools the carpenter was sitting down at a respectful distance,
he spoke thus to the venerable Anuruddha:

"Now, revered sir,
monks who are elders,
have approached me and spoken thus:

'Householder, develop boundless[3] freedom of mind.'

Some elders spoke thus:

'Householder, develop widespread[4] freedom of mind.'

Revered sir, as to boundless freedom of mind
and widespread freedom of mind -
are these states different in connotation
as well as different in denotation,
or are they identical in connotation
and different only in denotation?"[5]

"Well then, householder,
speak forth what occurs to you about this;
from doing so
it will become clear to you."

"Revered sir, it occurs to me thus:

That which is boundless freedom of mind
and that which is widespread freedom of mind -
these states are identical in connotation,
differing only in denotation."

"Householder, as to that which is boundless freedom of mind
and that which is wisespread freedom of mind -
these states are different in connotation
as well as different in denotation.

Wherefore, householder, this should be understood
according to the method
whereby these states are different in connotation
as well as different in denotation.

And what, householder, is boundless freedom of mind?

As to this, householder,
a monk abides,
having suffused the first quarter with a mind of friendliness,
likewise the second,
likewise the third,
likewise the fourth;
just so above,
below,
across;
he dwelt having suffused the whole world
everywhere,
in every way,
with a mind of friendliness
that was far-reaching,
wide-spread,
immeasurable,
without enmity,
without malevolence.

He dwelt, having suffused the first quarter with a mind of compassion,
likewise the second,
likewise the third,
likewise the fourth;
just so above,
below,
across;
he dwelt having suffused the whole world
everywhere,
in every way,
with a mind of compassion
that was far-reaching,
wide-spread,
immeasurable,
without enmity,
without malevolence.

He dwelt, having suffused the first quarter with a mind of sympathetic joy,
likewise the second,
likewise the third,
likewise the fourth;
just so above,
below,
across;
he dwelt having suffused the whole world
everywhere,
in every way,
with a mind of sympathetic joy
that was far-reaching,
wide-spread,
immeasurable,
without enmity,
without malevolence.

He dwelt, having suffused the first quarter with a mind of equanimity,
likewise the second,
likewise the third,
likewise the fourth;
just so above,
below,
across;
he dwelt having suffused the whole world
everywhere,
in every way,
with a mind of equanimity
that was far-reaching,
wide-spread,
immeasurable,
without enmity,
without malevolence.

This, householder, is called boundless freedom of mind.

 


 

And what, householder, is widespread freedom of mind?

As to this, householder, a monk,
thinking (meditation) is widespread
like as a single root of a tree,
dwells suffusing and pervading (that size in meditation).[6]

This, householder, is called the freedom of mind [192] that is widespread.

As to this, householder, a monk,
thinking (meditation) is widespread
like as two or three roots of a tree,
dwells suffusing and pervading (that size in meditation).

This, householder, is called the freedom of mind that is widespread.

As to this, householder, a monk,
thinking (meditation) is widespread
like as one village-field,
dwells suffusing and pervading (that size in meditation).

This, householder, is called the freedom of mind that is widespread.

As to this, householder, a monk,
thinking (meditation) is widespread
like as two or three villagc-fields,
dwells suffusing and pervading (that size in meditation).

This, householder, is called the freedom of mind that is widespread.

As to this, householder, a monk,
thinking (meditation) is widespread
like as one kingdom,
dwells suffusing and pervading (that size in meditation).

This, householder, is called the freedom of mind that is widespread.

As to this, householder, a monk,
thinking (meditation) is widespread
like as two or three kingdoms,
dwells suffusing and pervading (that size in meditation).

This, householder, is called the freedom of mind that is widespread.

As to this, householder, a monk,
thinking (meditation) is widespread
like as the seagirt earth,
abides suffusing and pervading (that size in meditation).

This, householder, is called the freedom of mind that is widespread.

Wherefore, householder, this should be understood
according to the method whereby
these states are different in connotation
as well as different in denotation.

 


 

These, householder, are four uprisings
into a (new) becoming.

What four?

As to this, householder, someone,
thinking of limited light,
abides suffusing and pervading (it in meditation);
at the breaking up of the body after dying
he arises in companionship
with the devas of limited Light.

As to this, householder, someone,
thinking of boundless light[7],
abides suffusing and pervading (it in meditation);
at the breaking up of the body after dying
he arises in companionship
with the devas of boundless Light.

As to this, householder, someone,
thinking of tarnished Light,
abides suffusing and pervading (it in meditation);
at the breaking up of the body after dying
he arises in companionship
with the devas of tarnished Light.

As to this, householder, someone,
thinking of pure light,
abides suffusing and pervading (it in meditation);
at the breaking up of the body after dying
he arises in companionship
with the devas of pure Light.

These, householder, are four uprisings
into a (new) becoming.

There is a time, householder,
when those that are devatās gather together;
when they are gathered together
a difference in colour[8] can be seen
but not a difference in light.

It is as though, householder,
a man should take several oil-lamps into a house;
when they are being taken into the house
a difference in flame would be discernible
but not a difference in light.

Even so, householder,
at the time when those that are devatās gather together;
when they are gathered together
a difference in colour can be seen
but not a difference in light.

There is a time, householder, when those that are [193] devatās go away from there;
when they are going away from there
not only can a difference in colour be seen
but also a difference in light.

It is as though, householder,
a man should take out those several oil-lamps from that house;
when these are being taken out from there
not only would a difference in flame be discernible
but also a difference in light.

Even so, householder,
there is a time when those that are devatās go away from there;
when they are going away from there
not only can a difference in colour be seen
but also a difference in light.

Householder, this does not occur to those devatās:

'This is permanent
or steadfast
or eternal for us.'

Moreover, wherever it may be
that these devatās are dwelling
it is there that these devatās enjoy themselves.

As, householder, it does not occur to flies
as they are being borne along on a pingo[9] or basket:

'This is permanent
or steadfast
or eternal for us,'

and as, moreover, wherever it may be
that those flies are living
it is there that these flies enjoy themselves;

in the same way, householder,
it does not occur to those devatās:

'This is permanent
or steadfast
or eternal for us,'

and, moreover, wherever it may be
that those devatās are dwelling
it is there that these devatās enjoy themselves,"

 


 

When this had been said, the venerable Abhiya Kaccāna[10] spoke thus to the venerable Anuruddha:

"It is good, revered Anuruddha,
but I have something further to ask on this matter.

Are those that are devas of Light, revered sir,
all of limited Light
or are there some devatās of boundless Light?"

"According to circumstances,[11] reverend Kaccāna,
some devatās there are of limited Light
but other devatās there are of boundless Light."

"What is the cause, revered Anuruddha,
what the reason
that, although these devatās have uprisen into a single class of devatās,
there are some devatās there of limited Light
and other devatās there of boundless Light?"

"Well then, reverend Kaccāna, on this matter
I will ask you a question in return.

As it pleases you
so you may answer it.

What do you think about this, reverend Kaccāna?

This that the monk, when thinking (meditation) is widespread
like as a single root of [194] a tree,
abides suffusing and pervading (that size in meditation);
and this that the monk,
when thinking (meditation) is widespread
like as two or three roots of a tree,
abides suffusing and pervading (that size) -
of these two developments of mind[12]
which is the more widespread?"

"This that the monk, revered sir,
when thinking (meditation) is widespread
like as two or three roots of a tree,
abides suffusing and pervading (that size) -
this of these two developments of mind
is the more widespread."

"What do you think about this, reverend Kaecāna?

This that the monk,
when thinking (meditation) is widespread
like as two or three roots of a tree,
abides suffusing and pervading (that size in meditation);
and this that the monk,
when thinking (meditation) is widespread
like as a single village-field,
abides suffusing and pervading (that size) -
of these two developments of mind
which is the more widespread?"

"This that the monk, revered sir,
when thinking (meditation) is widespread like,
like as a single village-field,
abides suffusing and pervading (that size) -
this of these two developments of mind
is the more widespread."

"What do you think about this, reverend Kaecāna?

This that the monk,
when thinking (meditation) is widespread
like as a single village-field,
abides suffusing and pervading (that size in meditation);
and this that the monk,
when thinking (meditation) is widespread
like as two or three village-fields,
abides suffusing and pervading (that size) -
of these two developments of mind
which is the more widespread?"

"This that the monk, revered sir,
when thinking (meditation) is widespread
like as two or three village-fields,
abides suffusing and pervading (that size in meditation) -
this of these two developments of mind
is the more widespread."

"What do you think about this, reverend Kaccāna?

This that the monk, when thinking (meditation) is widespread
like as two or three village-fields,
abides suffusing and pervading (that size in meditation);
and this that the monk, when thinking (meditation) is widespread
like as a single kingdom,
abides suffusing and pervading (that size in meditation) -
of these two developments of mind
which is the more widespread?"

"This that the monk, revered sir,
when thinking (meditation) is [195] widespread like as a single kingdom,
abides suffusing and pervading (that size) -
this of these two developments of mind
is the more widespread."

"What do you think about this, reverend Kaccāna?

This that the monk, when thinking (meditation) is widespread
like as a single kingdom,
abides suffusing and pervading (that size in meditation);
and this that the monk, when thinking (meditation) is widespread
like as two or three kingdoms,
abides suffusing and pervading (that size in meditation) -
of these two developments of mind
which is the more widespread?"

"This that the monk, revered sir,
when thinking (meditation) is widespread
like as two or three kingdoms,
abides suffusing and pervading (that size) -
this of these two developments of mind
is the more widespread."

"What do you think about this, reverend Kaccāna?

This that the monk,
when thinking (meditation) is widespread
like as two or three kingdoms,
abides suffusing and pervading (that size in meditation);
and this that the monk,
when thinking (meditation) is widespread
like as the sea-girt earth,
abides suffusing and pervading (that size in meditation) -
of these two developments of mind
which is the more widespread?"

"This that the monk, revered sir,
when thinking (meditation) is widespread
like as the sea-girt earth,
abides suffusing and pervading (that size) -
this of these two developments of mind
is the more widespread."

"This is the cause, reverend Kaccāna,
this is the reason
that, although these devatās have uprisen into a single class of devatās,
there are some devatās there
of limited Light
and other devatās there
of boundless Light."

"It is good, revered Anuruddha,
but I have something further to ask on this matter.

 


 

Are those that[13] are devas of Light, revered sir,
all of tarnished Light,
or are there some devatās there of pure Light?"

"According to circumstances, revered Kaccāna, some devatās there
are of tarnished Light
but other devatās there
are of pure Light."

"What is the cause, revered Anuruddha,
what the reason
that, although these devatās have uprisen into a single class of devatās,
there are some devatās there
of tarnished Light
and other devatās there
of pure Light?"

[196] "Well then, reverend Kaccāna,
I will make a simile for you.

For it is by a simile
that some intelligent man here
understands the meaning of what is said.

It is as though, reverend Kaccāna,
the oil of a burning oil-lamp
is foul
and the wick is foul.

Because of the foulness of the oil
and the foulness of the wick,
(the lamp) burns but dimly.

Even so, reverend Kaccāna,
some monk here,
thinking of tarnished light,
abides suffusing and pervading (it in meditation);
his bodily unchastity[14] is not properly suppressed,
his sloth and torpor
are not properly removed,
and his restlessness and worry
are not properly disciplined.[15]

Because his bodily unchastity
is not properly suppressed,
and because his sloth and torpor
are not properly removed,
and because his restlessness and worry
are not properly disciplined,
he burns[16] but dimly.

At the breaking up of the body after dying
he arises in companionship
with the devas of tarnished Light.

It is as though, reverend Kaccāna,
the oil of a burning oil-lamp is pure
and the wick is pure.

Because of the purity of the oil
and the purity of the wick,
(the lamp) does not burn but dimly.

Even so, reverend Kaccāna, some monk here,
thinking of pure light,
abides suffusing and pervading (it in meditation);
his bodily unchastity
is properly suppressed,
and his sloth and torpor
are properly removed,
and his restlessness and worry
are properly disciplined.

Because his bodily unchastity
is properly suppressed,
and because his sloth and torpor
are properly removed,
and because his restlessness and worry
are properly disciplined,
he does not burn but dimly.

At the breaking up of the body after dying
he arises in companionship
with the devas of pure Light.

This, reverend Kaccāna, is the cause,
this the reason
that, although these devatās have uprisen into a single class of devatās,
there are some devatās there
of tarnished Light,
and other devatās there
of pure Light."

When this had been said, the venerable Abhiya Kaccāna spoke thus to the venerable Anuruddha:

"It is good, revered Anuruddha.

[197] Revered sir, the venerable Anuruddha did not speak thus:

'Thus have I heard'

or

'It ought to be so.'[17]

On the contrary, revered sir,
the venerable Anuruddha merely said
that these devatās are such
and those devatās are thus.

Revered sir, it occurs to me thus:

The venerable Anuruddha
must certainly have lived previously
and talked previously
and held converse previously
with these devatās."

"This speech of yours, reverend Kaccāna,
comes close
and challenges me to a statement;[18]
and I, moreover, will answer you.

For a long time have I, reverend Kaccāna,
lived previously with these devatās
and talked previously to them
and held converse previously with them."[19]

When this had been said,
the venerable Abhiya Kaccāna
spoke thus to Fivetools the carpenter:

"It is a gain for you, householder,
it is well gotten by you, householder,
that you got rid of the doubt you had
and also obtained a chance
to hear this disquisition on dhamma."

Discourse with Anuruddha:
The Seventh

 


[1] Pañcakaŋga. See M. i. 386.

[2] attacatuttho as at M. i. 383.

[3] Defined at M. i. 297. Appamāṇa is "boundless" or "immeasurable."

[4] Mahaggata. This and appamāṇa are two words regularly connected with the brahmavihāra.

[5] Cf. M. i. 297.

[6] On pharitvā adhinvuccitva see Intr., p. xx.

[7] Text's reading appamāṇā ti should be appamāṇābhā ti, for which there is commentarial support as well as the gaining of the necessary textual consistency.

[8] Of their bodies, sarīra, MA.iv. 201.

[9] For carrying conjey, rice, oil, butter, fish, meat, MA. iv. 202.

[10] A variant reading calls him Sabhiya Kaccāna; this is adopted by D.P.P.N. (s.v. Sabhiya 3). There is a Sabhiya Kaccāna at S. iv. 401 f. See also K.S. iv. p. 202, n. 3.

[11] tadaŋgena; explained at MA. iv. 202 as taasā bhavupapattiyā aŋgena, according to the character of their uprising in a (new) becoming.

[12] cittabhāvanānaṁ.

[13] The yāvatā of the text should read yā tā as on text p. 148.

[14] kāyaduṭṭhulla; called kāyālasiyābhāvo at MA. iv. 202, "physical laziness."

[15] Restlessness and worry, and sloth and torpor are two of the five hindrances barring a man's attainment of the jhāna. I suspect that kāyaduṭṭhulla; is here in place of the more usual kāmacchanda, desire for sense-pleasures, the first of these five hindrances.

[16] The verb jhāyati means both to burn and to meditate; but the former is from the Skrt. kṣāyati and the latter from dhyāyati. It seems however that MA. iv. 202 interprets jhāyati (the monk's "burning" or meditation) by jalati, to burn, to shine. This only shows that meditation, jhāna, is a state of mental incandescence, a burning up of what is to be got rid of, a consuming of it, so that the pure light can shine forth.

[17] evaṁ arahati bhavituṁ.

[18] āsajja upanīyavācā bhāsitā, as at A. i. 172; see note at G.S. i. 166.

[19] MA. iv. 202 says that, fulfilling the excellences (pāramiyo), having gone forth in the going forth of sages, having practised the attainments, after 300 existences, he attained the Brahma-world.


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