Aṅguttara Nikāya

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Aṅguttara Nikāya
Catukka Nipāta
XXV: Āppatti-bhaya Vagga

The Book of the Gradual Sayings
The Book of the Fours
Chapter XXV: Fear of Offence

Sutta 244

Seyyā Suttaɱ


Translated from the Pali by F. L. Woodward, M.A.

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[1] Thus have I heard:

On a certain occasion the Exalted One addressed the monks, saying:


"Yes, lord," they replied,
and the Exalted One said:

"Monks, there are these four postures.

What four?

The posture of petas,
that of the luxurious,
that of the lion
and the posture of the Tathāgata.




And of what sort, monks, is the posture of petas?

Generally petas lie flat on their backs.[2]

This is called "the peta-posture."

And of what sort, monks, is the posture of the luxurious?

[250] Generally the luxurious lie on the left side.

This is called "the luxurious posture."[3]

And of what sort, monks, is the posture of the lion?

The lion, monks, the king of beasts, takes up a posture on his right side, laying foot on foot[4] and folding his tail between his thighs.

On waking he straightens out the forepart of the body and looks round to the hinder part.

Then, monks, if the lion, king of beasts,[5] sees any part of his body displaced or disarranged,[6] thereupon, monks, the lion, king of beasts,[5] is displeased.

But if the lion, king of beasts, sees no part of his body displaced or disarranged, then he is pleased.

This, monks, is called "the lion-posture."

And of what sort, monks, is the Tathāgata-posture?

In this case, monks, a monk,
aloof from sense-desires,
aloof from evil conditions,
enters upon the first musing,
which is accompanied by thoght
directed and sustained,
born of seclusion,
zestful and easeful,
and abides therein.

He by the calming down of thought
directed and sustained,
enters upon the secnd musing,
that calming of the inner self,
that one-pointedness of mind
apart from thought directed and sustained,
that is born of mental balance,
zestful and easeful,
and having attained it
abides therein.

He by the fading out of zest,
mindful and composed,
experiences in his own person
that ease of which the Ariyans declare:
"He who is disinterestd and alert
dwells at ease,"
and thus attains
and abides in the third musing.

He by abandoning both ease and discomfort,
by the ending of both happiness and unhappiness felt before,
attains the fourth musting,
a state of neithr ease nor discomfort,
an equanimity of utter purity
and having attained it
abides therein.

This is called the Tathāgata-posture.[7]

So there are these four postures.'


[1] Cf. SA. i, 78; UdA. 403; VibhA. 345.

[2] Comy. says they are too meagre to lie on the side. As it calls petas 'just the dead,' it is possible that the posture of a corpse is thought of.

[3] Reason not given.

[4] Accādhāya (not in A. index or P. Dict.); cf. D. ii, 134; DA. ii, 575.

[5] Here text twice reads mahārāja.

[6] Visaṭaɱ = vijahitaɱ. Comy.

[7] The usual description of a Buddha's posture is here omitted.

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