Aṅguttara Nikāya

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Edited: Thursday, March 02, 2023 7:30 AM

III. Tika Nipāta
XIII. Kusināra Vagga

Sutta 128

Dutiya Anuruddha Suttaṃ


Translated from the Pāḷi
Michael M. Olds



Translator's Introduction

It is very easy to read this sutta as directing Anuruddha's attention away from his clairvoyance, etc, and onto a something called the Amata-dhātu; [A. iii, 356,] "The Deathless Property, or deathless element or characteristic, but what is being said is that (for the reasons of pride, etc.) he is looking at the thing itself (the clairvoyance) where he should be looking at the clairvoyance from the point of view of its transience, pain yielding and selfless nature; that will get rid of his pride and anxiety which is what is blocking his heart's release. Its a matter of perspective. It is not a matter of having particular objects in view. This is important! This is The Method. That is, seeing things from the perspective of the Four Truths.



[1][pts][than] I Hear Tell:

Once upon a time The Lucky Man, Baranasi-town revisiting, Isipatana, Deer Park.

There then the Ancient Anuruddha approached the Ancient Sāriputta and drew near.

Drawing near the Ancient Sāriputta he gave friendly greeting.

Having given friendly greetings and exchanged polite conversation, he took a seat to one side.

Seated to one side then the Ancient Anuruddha said this to the Ancient Sāriputta:

"Here friend Sāriputta
the divine eye is purified beyond the ken of ordinary men: —
I overlook worlds a-thousand;

And then further,
undertaken by me is energy unsluggish;
set up is memory unconfused;

Pacified in body
at peace
at one with the heart;[1]

But still there is no absolute[2] freedom of heart from the corrupting influences."


2. "This being as you say then friend Anuruddha:

'I with the divine eye purified beyond the ken of ordinary men: —
overlook worlds a-thousand';
this is 'pride';

This being just as you say friend Anuruddha:

'Undertaken by me is energy unsluggish;
set up is memory unconfused;'
this is 'excitement';

This being just as you say friend Anuruddha:

'But still there is no absolute freedom of heart from the corrupting influences;'
this is 'worry'.[3]

Well it would be for you, friend Anuruddha,
to let go of these three things,
not look for the solution in[4] these three things,
taking up in heart the characteristics of the deathless."

3. There then the Ancient Anuruddha,
wasted no time letting go these three things,
not looking for the solution in these three things,
took up in heart the characteristics of the deathless.

There then the Ancient Anuruddho
alone by himself,
living persistent,
not long thereafter attained and entered into
that unsurpassed conclusion of the godly life
even young sons of the best houses
leave home venturing to find
and he knew for himself
in this seen thing
as an eye-witness that:

"Left behind is birth,
lived is carrying on like God,
duty's doing's done,
no further it'n-at'n me!"

And the Ancient Anuruddha too became one of the Arahants.


[1] Cittaṃ ekaggaṃ. Usually translated: 'at one point', e.g., Woodward, Bhk. Bodhi. Here this is being taken to mean an aspect of the necessity to get body and mind in alignment in order to attain freedom.

[2] Na anupādāya āsavehi cittaṃ vumuccatī. No non-support [for] corrupting-influences heart freedom. Woodward: 'heart not released from the āsavas without grasping'; Bhk. Bodhi: 'mind not liberated from the taints through non-clinging'.

[3] Mānasmiṃ, uddhaccasmiṃ, kukkuccasmiṃ, in Sariptuta's analysis of Anuruddha's three statements. These are two of the saṅyojanas binding one to the higher births that need to be eliminated to attain arahantship here and now. This sutta is being cast by Woodward and Bhk. Bodhi as a sort of rebuke or taking down of Anuruddha where here it is being taken as his seeing and pointing out what is being overlooked: the subtle form which these 'fetters' are taking in Anuruddha. Neither Woodward nor Bhk. Bodhi associate this with the saṅyojanas.
Woodward: conceit, arrogance, worrying; Bhk. Bodhi: conceit, restlessness, remorse. Note that 'conceit' is the term often used to describe the idea 'I am'. This is what is being missed by Anuruddha to this point, that his attachment to his skills are his manifestation of self.

[4] Amana-sikaritvā not 'study in mind', in this method the effort being to trace to their origin [yoniso-] the source of problems. The understanding here being that Anuruddha is speaking of this to Sāriputta in an effort to uncover the error in his method that is causing him his lack of success. Sāriputta is instructing him that he is looking in the wrong places.


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