Dīgha Nikāya

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Dīgha Nikāya

The Long Discourses of the Buddha

Sutta 33

Saºgīti Suttanta

The Chanting Together


© Maurice Walshe 1987.
Used with the permission of Wisdom Publications.



'There are [sets of] ten things perfectly proclaimed by the Lord ...

[10.01][pts][olds] 'Ten things that give protection (nāthamā):[1124] Here a monk
(a) is moral, he lives restrained according to the restraint of the discipline, persisting in right behaviour, seeing danger in the slightest fault, he keeps to the rules of training;
[267] (b) he has learnt much, and bears in mind and retains what he has learnt. In these teachings, beautiful in the beginning, the middle and the ending, which in spirit and in letter proclaim the absolutely perfected and purified holy life, he is deeply learned, he remembers them, recites them, reflects on them and penetrates them with vision;
(c) he is a friend, associate and intimate of good people;
(d) he is affable, endowed with gentleness and patience, quick to grasp instruction;
(e) whatever various jobs there tire to be done for his fellow-monks, he is skilful, not lax, using foresight in carrying them out, and is good at doing and planning;
(f) he loves the Dhamma and delights in hearing it, he is especially fond of the advanced doctrine and discipline (abhidhamme abhivinaye);[1125]
[268] (g) he is content with any kind of requisites: robes, alms-food, lodging, medicines in case of illness;
(h) he ever strives to arouse energy, to get rid of unwholesome states, to establish wholesome states, untiringly and energetically striving to keep such good states and never shaking off the burden;
(i) he is mindful, with a great capacity for clearly recalling things done and said long ago;[1126]
(j) he is wise, with wise perception of arising and passing away, that Ariyan perception that leads to the complete destruction of suffering.

[10.02][pts][olds] Ten objects for the attainment of absorption (kasiṇāyatanāni)[1127] He perceives the Earth-Kasṇa, the Water-Kasṇa, the Fire-Kasṇa, the Wind-Kasṇa, the Blue Kasṇa, the Yellow Kasṇa, the Red Kasṇa, the White Kasṇa, the Space-Kasṇa, the Consciousness Kasṇa,[1128] above, below, on all sides, undivided, unbounded.

[269] [10.03][pts][olds] Ten unwholesome courses of action (akusala-kammapathā): taking life, taking what is not given, sexual misconduct, lying speech, slander, rude speech, idle chatter, greed, malevolence, wrong view.

[509] [10.04][pts][olds] 'Ten wholesome courses of action: avoidance of taking life ... (and so on, as (3) above).

[10.05][pts][olds] 'Ten Ariyan dispositions (ariya-vāsā): Here a monk
(a) has got rid of five factors,
(b) possesses six factors,
(c) has established one guard, (d) observes the four supports,
(e) has got rid of individual beliefs,[1129]
(f) has quite abandoned quest,
(g) is pure of motive,
(h) has tranquillised his emotions,[1130] is well liberated
(i) in heart, and
(j) by wisdom.
How has he got rid of five factors?
Here, he has got rid of sensuality, ill-will, sloth-and-torpor, worry-and-flurry, and doubt;
(b) what six factors does he possess?
On seeing an object with the eye, hearing a sound ..., smelling a smell ..., tasting a flavour ..., touching a tangible object ..., or cognising a mental object with the mind, he is neither pleased nor displeased, but remains equable, mindful and clearly aware;
(c) how has he established the one guard?
By guarding his mind with mindfulness;
(d) what are the four supports?
He judges that one thing is to be pursued, one thing endured, one thing avoided, one thing suppressed (as verse 1.11 (8));
(e) how has he got rid of individual beliefs (panunna-pacceka-sacco)?
Whatever individual beliefs are held by the majority of ascetics and Brahmins he has dismissed, abandoned, rejected, let go;
(f) how is he one who has quite abandoned quests?
He has abandoned the quest for sense-desires, for rebirth, for the holy life;[1131]
(g) how is he pure of motive?
He has abandoned thoughts of sensuality, ill-will, cruelty;
(h) how is he one who has tranquillised his emotions (passaddha-kāya-sankhāro hoti)?
Because, having given up pleasure and pain with the disappearance of former gladness and sadness, he enters into a state beyond pleasure and pain which is purified by equanimity, and this is the fourth jhāna;
(i) how is he well emancipated in heart?
He is liberated from the thought of greed, hatred and delusion;
(j) how is he well liberated by wisdom? He understands: "For me greed, hatred and delusion are abandoned, cut off at the root, like a palm-tree stump, destroyed and incapable of growing again." [271]

[10.06][pts][olds] 'Ten qualities of the non-leamer'(asekha)[1132] The non-leamer's right view, right thought: right speech, right action, right livelihood; right effort, right mindfulness, right concen- [510] tration; right knowledge (sammā-ñāṇam), right liberation (sammā-vimutti).

'These are the [sets of] ten things which have been perfectly set forth by the Lord who knows and sees, the fully enlightened Buddha. 50 we should all recite them together without disagreement, so that this holy life may be long-lasting and established for a long time to come, thus to be for the welfare and happiness of the multitude, out of compassion for the world, for the benefit, welfare and happiness of devas and humans.'

[10.07][pts][olds] And when the Lord had stood up, he said to the Venerable Sāriputta: 'Good, good, Sāriputta! Well indeed have you proclaimed the way of chanting together for the monks!'

These things were said by the Venerable Sāriputta, and the Teacher confirmed them. The monks were delighted and rejoiced at the Venerable Sāriputta's words.


[1124] Dhammā here clearly means 'things, factors', not 'doctrines' (RD).

[1125] DA is doubtful whether abhidhamma here means 'the seven Pakararyas', i.e. the Abhidhamma Piṭaka as we know it, or not. The short answer is that if this text goes back to the Buddha's time (which is possible but far from certain), the word abhidhamma can only have the more general sense of 'higher teaching' or the like. Similar considerations apply to abhivinaya.

[1126] Cf. n.1074.

[1127] Not 'objects for self-hypnosis' (RD). The jhānas differ from hypnotic trance in that one has full control and is not suggestible. I am indebted to Dr Nick Ribush for this valuable clarification (cf. n.211).

[1128] There is some confusion about the last two members of this list. Elsewhere we find āloka 'light' instead of consciousness (the latter is difficult to envisage as a kasiṇa). See VM 5.26 and n.5 there.

[1129] Or 'sectarian opinions' (RD). Private aberrations of view.

[1130] Passaddha-kāya-sankhāro, where kāya means the mental body.

[1131] Cf. 1.10 (22). Getting involved in problems about 'self', etc.

[1132] Cf. n.542.

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