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Saɱyutta Nikāya
4. Saḷāyatana Vagga
41. Citta Saɱyutta

The Book of the Kindred Sayings
4. The Book Called the Saḷāyatana-Vagga
Containing Kindred Sayings on the 'Six-Fold Sphere' of Sense and Other Subjects
41. Kindred Sayings about Citta

Sutta 7

Godatta Suttaɱ

Godatta

Translated by F. L. Woodward
Edited by Mrs. Rhys Davids

Copyright The Pali Text Society
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[203]

[1][than] Thus have I heard:

Once the venerable Godatta[1] was staying at Macchikasaṇḍa
in Wild Mango Grove.

Then Citta, the housefather, came to visit the venerable Godatta,
and on coming to him
saluted him
and sat down at [204] one side.

As he thus sat, the venerable Godatta said to Citta, the housefather: -

"Housefather, this heart's release
and this utterly unworldly[2] heart's release,
and this heart's release
that is by the void
and that which is signless, -
are these states diverse in spirit,
diverse in letter,
or are they the same both in spirit
and in letter?"

"There is one view of the question,[3] sir,
according to which these states
are diverse both in spirit and in letter.

But there is another view, sir,
according to which
they are one and the same
both in spirit and in letter."

 

§

 

"But what, sir, is that view
according to which
they are diverse both in spirit
and in letter?

Herein,[4] sir, a brother dwells
suffusing one quarter of the world
with his heart possessed of kindliness:
so also the second,
third
and fourth quarters:
and in like manner above,
below,
across,[5]
everywhere,
for all sorts
and conditions,[6] -
the whole world
does he abide suffusing
with a heart possessed of kindliness
that is widespread,
grown great
and boundless,
free from enmity
and untroubled.[7]

Again sir, a brother dwells
suffusing one quarter of the world
with his heart possessed of compassion:
so also the second,
third
and fourth quarters:
and in like manner above,
below,
across,
everywhere,
for all sorts
and conditions, -
the whole world
does he abide suffusing
with a heart possessed of compassion
that is widespread,
grown great
and boundless,
free from enmity
and untroubled.

Again sir, a brother dwells
suffusing one quarter of the world
with his heart possessed of sympathy:
so also the second,
third
and fourth quarters:
and in like manner above,
below,
across,
everywhere,
for all sorts
and conditions, -
the whole world
does he abide suffusing
with a heart possessed of sympathy
that is widespread,
grown great
and boundless,
free from enmity
and untroubled.

Again sir, a brother dwells
suffusing one quarter of the world
with his heart possessed of equanimity:
so also the second,
third
and fourth quarters:
and in like manner above,
below,
across,
everywhere,
for all sorts
and conditions, -
the whole world
does he abide suffusing
with a heart possessed of equanimity
that is widespread,
grown great
and boundless,
free from enmity
and untroubled.

This, sir, is callcd
'the heart's release by a boundless heart.'

 

§

 

And what, sir, is the heart's release
that is utterly unworldly?

Herein, sir, a brother,
passing utterly beyond the sphere of infinite consciousness,
with the idea of
'there is nothing at [205] all,"
reaches and abides in
the sphere of nothingness.

This, sir, is called
'the utterly unworldly heart's release.'

 

§

 

And what, sir, is the heart's release bv the void?

Herein, sir, a brother goes to the forest
or the root of a tree
or a lonely spot,
and thus reflects:

'Void is this of self
or of what pertains to self.'

This, sir, is called the heart's release by the void.

 

§

 

And what, sir, is the heart's release that is signless?

Herein, sir, a brother,
without thought of all signs,
reaches and abides in
that tranquillity of heart that is signless.

This, sir, is called
'the heart's release that is signless.'

Such, sir, is the view of the question
according to which states are diverse
both in spirit
and in letter.

 

§

 

And what, sir, is the view
according to which
states are one and the same,
both in spirit
and in letter?

Lust, sir, sets a limit.[8]

Hate sets a limit.

Illusion sets a limit.

In the brother who has destroyed the āsavas
these are abandoned,
cut down at the root,
made like a palm-tree stump,
made unable to become,
of a nature not to grow again in future time.

Of all the boundless ways[9]
of heart's release,
the unshaken[10] heart's release
is deemed supreme among them.

Truly that unshaken heart's release
is void of lust,
void of hate,
void of illusion.

Lust, sir, is a hindrance.[11]

Hate is a hindrance.

Illusion is a hindrance.

In the brother who has destroyed the āsavas
these are abandoned,
cut down at the root,
made like a palm-tree stump,
made unable to become,
of a nature not to grow again in future time.

Of all the unobstructed ways of heart's release,
the unshaken heart's release
is deemed supreme among them.

Truly that unshaken heart's release
is void of lust,
void of hate,
void of illusion.

Lust, sir, causes distinctive signs.

Hate causes distinctive [206] signs.

Illusion causes distinctive signs.

In the brother who lias destroyed the āsavas
these are abandoned,
cut down at the root,
made like a palm-tree stump,
made unable to become,
of a nature not to grow again in future time.

Of all the signless ways of heart's release
the unshaken heart's release
is deemed supreme among them.

Truly that unshaken heart's release
is void of lust,
void of hate,
void of illusion.

Such, sir, is the view
according to which
these states are one and the same,
both in spirit
and in letter."

 


[1] Is this the Godatta of Brethren, 281? The story there reminds one of that of Balaam and his ass. His fallen ox, cruely beaten by him, spoke with a human voice, and prayed that both might be reborn in reversed position. Godatta gave up all and 'took orders.'

[2] Ākiñcaññā 'without possessions or clinging.'

[3] Pariyāya.

[4] Cf. M. i, 38. The four brahma-vihāras or 'sublime states,' or 'dwellings' of thought. 'Heart' is more literally 'mind': 'citta, which is mind (mano), which is consciousness (viññāṇa) See K.S., ii, 65. we should say, 'will.' See infra. xlii, 8; V.M., cap. ix, pp. 294-3I7.

[5] Tiriyaŋ expl. at V.M. 308 as 'the intermediate quarters.'

[6] Text reads sabb'atthatāya, but commentators read sabb'attatāya which I follow here. V.M. Comy. 'without distinction of persons.'

[7] Avyāpajjhaŋ = 'niddukkhaŋ.' V.M. Comy.

[8] Pamāna-karaṇa Comy. says it means 'taking the measure of a man.' One does not know his nature till rāga-dosa, etc., arise.

[9] 'The four paths and the four fruits.' Comy.

[10] Akuppa - 'arahatta-phala-ceto-vimutti (which is the topmost of all paths).' Comy.

[11] Kiñcanaŋ = palibodha, a hindrance, lit. 'a something.' Cf. Udāna, ii, 6, where the sages are called akiñcanā, worldlings sakiñcanā ('with the somethinga'), hampered by possessions.


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