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Saɱyutta Nikāya,
V: Mahā-Vagga
46. Bojjhanga Saɱyutta
VII. Ānāpāna-Vaggo

Kindred Sayings on the Limbs of Wisdom
V. The Great Chapter
46. Kindred Sayings on the Limbs of Wisdom
VII. In-Breathing and Out-Breathing

Sutta 57

Aṭṭhika Suttaɱ

The Skeleton[1]

Translated by F. L. Woodward

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[109]

I. Great the Fruit and Great the Profit

[1] Thus have I heard:

Once the Exalted One was staying near Sāvatthī.

Then the Exalted One addressed the monks,
saying:

"Monks."

"Yes, lord," replied those monks to the Exalted One.

The Exalted One said:

"Monks, the idea of the skeleton,
if cultivated and made much of,
is of great fruit and great profit.

And how cultivated and made much of
is the idea of the skeleton
of great fruit and great profit?

Herein a monk cultivates the limb of wisdom
that is mindfulness,
accompanied by the idea of the skeleton,
that is based [110] on seclusion,
on dispassion,
on cessation,
which ends in self-surrender.

He cultivates the limb of wisdom
that is investigation of the Norm,
accompanied by the idea of the skeleton,
which is based on seclusion,
on dispassion,
on cessation,
which ends in self-surrender.

He cultivates the limb of wisdom
that is energy,
accompanied by the idea of the skeleton,
which is based on seclusion,
on dispassion,
on cessation,
which ends in self-surrender.

He cultivates the limb of wisdom
that is zest,
accompanied by the idea of the skeleton,
which is based on seclusion,
on dispassion,
on cessation,
which ends in self-surrender.

He cultivates the limb of wisdom
that is tranquillity,
accompanied by the idea of the skeleton,
which is based on seclusion,
on dispassion,
on cessation,
which ends in self-surrender.

He cultivates the limb of wisdom
that is concentration,
accompanied by the idea of the skeleton,
which is based on seclusion,
on dispassion,
on cessation,
which ends in self-surrender.

He cultivates the limb of wisdom
that is equanimity,
accompanied by the idea of the skeleton,
which is based on seclusion,
on dispassion,
on cessation,
which ends in self-surrender.

Thus cultivated, monks,
thus made much of,
the idea of the skeleton
is of great fruit and great profit."

II. Realization or No Return

Monks, from the cultivation and making much of the idea of the skeleton,
of two fruits
one may be looked for
even in this very life,
to wit:
realization,[2]
or, if there be any substrate left,
the state of non-return.

How should it be cultivated, monks,
how should it be made much of
that of two fruits
one may be looked for
even in this very life,
to wit:
realization,
or, if there be any substrate left,
the state of non-return?

Herein a monk cultivates the limb of wisdom
that is mindfulness,
accompanied by the idea of the skeleton,
which is based on seclusion,
on dispassion,
on cessation,
which ends in self-surrender.

He cultivates the limb of wisdom
that is investigation of the Norm,
accompanied by the idea of the skeleton,
which is based on seclusion,
on dispassion,
on cessation,
which ends in self-surrender.

He cultivates the limb of wisdom
that is energy,
accompanied by the idea of the skeleton,
which is based on seclusion,
on dispassion,
on cessation,
which ends in self-surrender.

He cultivates the limb of wisdom
that is zest,
accompanied by the idea of the skeleton,
which is based on seclusion,
on dispassion,
on cessation,
which ends in self-surrender.

He cultivates the limb of wisdom
that is tranquillity,
accompanied by the idea of the skeleton,
which is based on seclusion,
on dispassion,
on cessation,
which ends in self-surrender.

He cultivates the limb of wisdom
that is concentration,
accompanied by the idea of the skeleton,
which is based on seclusion,
on dispassion,
on cessation,
which ends in self-surrender.

He cultivates the limb of wisdom
that is equanimity,
accompanied by the idea of the skeleton,
which is based on seclusion,
on dispassion,
on cessation,
which ends in self-surrender.

If the idea of the skeleton
be thus cultivated,
thus made much of,
one may look for one of two fruits
even in this very life,
to wit:
realization,
or, if there be any substrate left,
at any rate the state of non-return.

III. Great Benefit

Monks, the idea of the skeleton,
if cultivated and made much of,
conduces to great benefit.

From the cultivation and making much of
the idea of the skeleton,
of two fruits
one may be looked for
even in this very life,
to wit:
realization,
or, if there be any substrate left,
the state of non-return.

How should the idea of the skeleton,
be cultivated, monks,
how should it be made much of
that of two fruits
one may be looked for
even in this very life,
to wit:
realization,
or, if there be any substrate left,
the state of non-return?

Herein a monk cultivates the limb of wisdom
that is mindfulness,
accompanied by the idea of the skeleton,
which is based on seclusion,
on dispassion,
on cessation,
which ends in self-surrender.

He cultivates the limb of wisdom
that is investigation of the Norm,
accompanied by the idea of the skeleton,
which is based on seclusion,
on dispassion,
on cessation,
which ends in self-surrender.

He cultivates the limb of wisdom
that is energy,
accompanied by the idea of the skeleton,
which is based on seclusion,
on dispassion,
on cessation,
which ends in self-surrender.

He cultivates the limb of wisdom
that is zest,
accompanied by the idea of the skeleton,
which is based on seclusion,
on dispassion,
on cessation,
which ends in self-surrender.

He cultivates the limb of wisdom
that is tranquillity,
accompanied by the idea of the skeleton,
which is based on seclusion,
on dispassion,
on cessation,
which ends in self-surrender.

He cultivates the limb of wisdom
that is concentration,
accompanied by the idea of the skeleton,
which is based on seclusion,
on dispassion,
on cessation,
which ends in self-surrender.

He cultivates the limb of wisdom
that is equanimity,
accompanied by the idea of the skeleton,
which is based on seclusion,
on dispassion,
on cessation,
which ends in self-surrender.

If the idea of the skeleton
be thus cultivated,
thus made much of,
one may look for one of two fruits
even in this very life,
to wit:
realization,
or, if there be any substrate left,
at any rate the state of non-return.

IV. Great Peace from Bondage

"Monks, the idea of the skeleton,
if cultivated and made much of,
conduces to great peace from bondage.[3]

And how cultivated and made much of
does the idea of the skeleton
conduce to great peace from bondage?

Herein a monk cultivates the limb of wisdom
that is mindfulness,
accompanied by the idea of the skeleton,
which is based on seclusion,
on dispassion,
on cessation,
which ends in self-surrender.

He cultivates the limb of wisdom
that is investigation of the Norm,
accompanied by the idea of the skeleton,
which is based on seclusion,
on dispassion,
on cessation,
which ends in self-surrender.

He cultivates the limb of wisdom
that is energy,
accompanied by the idea of the skeleton,
which is based on seclusion,
on dispassion,
on cessation,
which ends in self-surrender.

He cultivates the limb of wisdom
that is zest,
accompanied by the idea of the skeleton,
which is based on seclusion,
on dispassion,
on cessation,
which ends in self-surrender.

He cultivates the limb of wisdom
that is tranquillity,
accompanied by the idea of the skeleton,
which is based on seclusion,
on dispassion,
on cessation,
which ends in self-surrender.

He cultivates the limb of wisdom
that is concentration,
accompanied by the idea of the skeleton,
which is based on seclusion,
on dispassion,
on cessation,
which ends in self-surrender.

He cultivates the limb of wisdom
that is equanimity,
accompanied by the idea of the skeleton,
which is based on seclusion,
on dispassion,
on cessation,
which ends in self-surrender.

Thus cultivated, monks,
thus made much of,
the idea of the skeleton
conduces to great peace from bondage."

V. A Great Thrill

Monks, the idea of the skeleton,
if cultivated and made much of,
conduces to a great thrill.

And how cultivated and made much of
does the idea of the skeleton
conduce to a great thrill?

Herein a monk cultivates the limb of wisdom
that is mindfulness,
accompanied by the idea of the skeleton,
which is based on seclusion,
on dispassion,
on cessation,
which ends in self-surrender.

He cultivates the limb of wisdom
that is investigation of the Norm,
accompanied by the idea of the skeleton,
which is based on seclusion,
on dispassion,
on cessation,
which ends in self-surrender.

He cultivates the limb of wisdom
that is energy,
accompanied by the idea of the skeleton,
which is based on seclusion,
on dispassion,
on cessation,
which ends in self-surrender.

He cultivates the limb of wisdom
that is zest,
accompanied by the idea of the skeleton,
which is based on seclusion,
on dispassion,
on cessation,
which ends in self-surrender.

He cultivates the limb of wisdom
that is tranquillity,
accompanied by the idea of the skeleton,
which is based on seclusion,
on dispassion,
on cessation,
which ends in self-surrender.

He cultivates the limb of wisdom
that is concentration,
accompanied by the idea of the skeleton,
which is based on seclusion,
on dispassion,
on cessation,
which ends in self-surrender.

He cultivates the limb of wisdom
that is equanimity,
accompanied by the idea of the skeleton,
which is based on seclusion,
on dispassion,
on cessation,
which ends in self-surrender.

Thus cultivated, monks,
thus made much of,
the idea of the skeleton
conduces to a great thrill."

VI. Great Pleasantness of Living

Monks, the idea of the skeleton,
if cultivated and made much of,
conduces to great pleasantness of living.

And how cultivated and made much of
does the idea of the skeleton
conduce to great pleasantness of living?

Herein a monk cultivates the limb of wisdom
that is mindfulness,
accompanied by the idea of the skeleton,
which is based on seclusion,
on dispassion,
on cessation,
which ends in self-surrender.

He cultivates the limb of wisdom
that is investigation of the Norm,
accompanied by the idea of the skeleton,
which is based on seclusion,
on dispassion,
on cessation,
which ends in self-surrender.

He cultivates the limb of wisdom
that is energy,
accompanied by the idea of the skeleton,
which is based on seclusion,
on dispassion,
on cessation,
which ends in self-surrender.

He cultivates the limb of wisdom
that is zest,
accompanied by the idea of the skeleton,
which is based on seclusion,
on dispassion,
on cessation,
which ends in self-surrender.

He cultivates the limb of wisdom
that is tranquillity,
accompanied by the idea of the skeleton,
which is based on seclusion,
on dispassion,
on cessation,
which ends in self-surrender.

He cultivates the limb of wisdom
that is concentration,
accompanied by the idea of the skeleton,
which is based on seclusion,
on dispassion,
on cessation,
which ends in self-surrender.

He cultivates the limb of wisdom
that is equanimity,
accompanied by the idea of the skeleton,
which is based on seclusion,
on dispassion,
on cessation,
which ends in self-surrender.

Thus cultivated, monks,
thus made much of,
the idea of the skeleton
conduces great pleasantness of living."

 


[1] For these methods of concentration see Manual of a Mystic, p. 70, etc.; A. i, 42; VM. i, 112; Warren, Buddhism in Translations, 353; Buddh. Psych. Eth. 69-70 (the jhāna of foul things). This procedure was 'prescribed for such as were proved to be passionately affected by the beauty of the body' ... 'the essential procedure lay in gettmg a clear and courageous grasp of the transience of any living organism.' Comy. refers to Vis. Magg., loc. cit., quoted at Expos. i, 92. 'Here sahagata should be understood as "dependence." The meaning is: "depending on the notion of the skeleton and developing the idea of mindfulness as a factor of wisdom has been obtained."'

[2] Aññā, sati vā upādisese anāgāmitā (aññā =arahantship).

[3] Yoga-kkhema.


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