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Saɱyutta Nikāya,
V: Mahā-Vagga
46. Bojjhanga Saɱyutta
VI. Bojjhaŋgasākacca-Vaggo

The Connected Discourses of the Buddha
The Great Book,
Chapter II (46): Connected Discourses on the Factors of Enlightenment
VI. Discussions

Sutta 53

Aggi Suttaɱ

Fire

Translated by Bhikkhu Bodhi

Copyright Bhikkhu Bodhi 2000, The Connected Discourses of the Buddha (Wisdom Publications, 2000)
This selection from The Connected Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Saɱyutta Nikāya by Bhikkhu Bodhi is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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[2][pts][than] At Sāvatthī.

Then, in the morning, a number of bhikkhus dressed and, taking their bowls and robes, entered Sāvatthī for alms ... (/as in §52 down to:/) ...

[The Blessed One said:]

"Bhikkhus, when wanderers of other sects speak thus, they should be asked:

'Friends, when the mind becomes sluggish, which factors of enlightenment is it untimely to develop on that occasion, and which factors of enlightenment is it timely to develop on that occasion?

Then, friends, when the mind becomes excited, which factors of enlightenment is it untimely to develop on that occasion, and which factors of enlightenment is it timely to develop on that occasion?'

Being asked thus, those wanderers would not be able to reply and, further, they would meet with vexation.

For what reason?

Because that would not be within their domain.

I do not see anyone, bhikkhus, in this world with its devas, Māra, and Brahmā, in this generation with its ascetics and brahmins, its devas and humans, who could satisfy the mind with an answer to these questions except the Tathāgata or a disciple of the Tathāgata or one who has heard it from them.

(i. The sluggish mind: untimely)

"On an occasion, bhikkhus, when the mind becomes sluggish, it is untimely to develop the enlightenment factor of tranquillity, the enlightenment factor of concentration, and the enlightenment factor of equanimity.

For what reason?

Because the mind is sluggish, bhikkhus, and it is difficult to arouse it with those things.

"Suppose, bhikkhus, a man wants to make a small fire flare up.

If he throws wet grass, wet cowdung, and wet timber into it, sprays it with water, and scatters soil over it, would he be able to make that small fire flare up?"

"No, venerable sir."

"So too, bhikkhus, on an occasion when the mind becomes sluggish, it is untimely to develop the enlightenment factor of tranquillity, the enlightenment factor of concentration, and the enlightenment factor of equanimity.

For what reason?

Because the mind is sluggish, bhikkhus, and it is difficult to arouse it with those things.

(ii. The sluggish mind: timely)

"On an occasion, bhikkhus, when the mind becomes sluggish, it is timely to develop the enlightenment factor of discrimination of states, the enlightenment factor of energy, and the enlightenment factor of rapture.

For what reason?

Because the mind is sluggish, bhikkhus, and it is easy to arouse it with those things.

"Suppose, bhikkhus, a man wants to make a small fire flare up.

If he throws dry grass, dry cowdung, and dry timber into it, blows on it, and does not scatter soil over it, would he be able to make that small fire flare up?"

Yes, venerable sir."

"So too, bhikkhus, on an occasion when the mind becomes sluggish, it is timely to develop the enlightenment factor of discrimination of states, the enlightenment factor of energy, and the enlightenment factor of rapture.

For what reason?

Because the mind is sluggish, bhikkhus, and it is easy to arouse it with those things.

(iii. The excited mind: untimely)

"On an occasion, bhikkhus, when the mind becomes excited, it is untimely to develop the enlightenment factor of discrimination of states, the enlightenment factor of energy, and the enlightenment factor of rapture.

For what reason?

Because the mind is excited, bhikkhus, and it is difficult to calm it down with those things.

"Suppose, bhikkhus, a man wants to extinguish a great bonfire.

If he throws dry grass, dry cowdung, and dry timber into it, blows on it, and does not scatter soil over it, would he be able to extinguish that great bonfire?"

"No, venerable sir."

"So too, bhikkhus, on an occasion when the mind becomes excited, it is untimely to develop the enlightenment factor of discrimination of states, the enlightenment factor of energy, and the enlightenment factor of rapture.

For what reason?

Because the mind is excited, bhikkhus, and it is difficult to calm it down with those things.

(iv. The excited mind: timely)

"On an occasion, bhikkhus, when the mind becomes excited, it is timely to develop the enlightenment factor of tranquillity, the enlightenment factor of concentration, and the enlightenment factor of equanimity.

For what reason?

Because the mind is excited, bhikkhus, and it is easy to calm it down with those things.

"Suppose, bhikkhus, a man wants to extinguish a great bonfire.

If he throws wet grass, wet cowdung, and wet timber into it, sprays it with water, and scatters soil over it, would he be able to extinguish that great bonfire?"

"Yes, venerable sir."

So too, bhikkhus, on an occasion when the mind becomes excited, it is timely to develop the enlightenment factor of tranquillity, the enlightenment factor of concentration, and the enlightenment factor of equanimity.

For what reason?

Because the mind is excited, bhikkhus, and it is easy to calm it down with those things.

"But mindfulness, bhikkhus, I say is always useful."


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