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The Sutta Pitaka


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The Anguttara Nikaya

The "Further-factored" Discourses

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Anguttara Nikaya III.73

Ajivaka Sutta(^)

To the Fatalists' Student

Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

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I have heard that on one occasion Ven. Ananda was staying in Kosambi at Ghosita's monastery. Then a certain householder, a disciple of the Fatalists (Ajivakas), went to him and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to Ven. Ananda, "Among us, sir, whose Dhamma is well-taught? Who has practiced well in this world? Who in the world is well-gone?"

"In that case, householder, I will question you in return. Answer as you see fit. Now, what do you think: those who teach a Dhamma for the abandoning of passion, for the abandoning of aversion, for the abandoning of delusion -- is their Dhamma well-taught or not? Or how does this strike you?"

"Sir, those who teach a Dhamma for the abandoning of passion, for the abandoning of aversion, for the abandoning of delusion -- their Dhamma is well-taught. That's how it strikes me."

"And what do you think, householder: those who have practiced for the abandoning of passion, for the abandoning of aversion, for the abandoning of delusion -- have they practiced well in this world or not? Or how does this strike you?"

"Sir, those who have practiced for the abandoning of passion, for the abandoning of aversion, for the abandoning of delusion -- they have practiced well in this world. That's how it strikes me."

"And what do you think, householder: those whose passion is abandoned, its root destroyed, like an uprooted palm tree, deprived of the conditions of existence, not destined for future arising; those whose aversion is abandoned ... whose delusion is abandoned, its root destroyed, like an uprooted palm tree, deprived of the conditions of existence, not destined for future arising: are they, in this world, well-gone or not? Or how does this strike you?"

"Sir, those whose passion ... aversion ... delusion is abandoned, its root destroyed, like an uprooted palm tree, deprived of the conditions of existence, not destined for future arising: they, in this world, are well-gone. That's how it strikes me."

"In this way, householder, you have answered yourself: 'Those who teach a Dhamma for the abandoning of passion, for the abandoning of aversion, for the abandoning of delusion -- their Dhamma is well-taught. Those who have practiced for the abandoning of passion, for the abandoning of aversion, for the abandoning of delusion -- they have practiced well in this world. Those whose passion ... aversion ... delusion is abandoned, its root destroyed, like an uprooted palm tree, deprived of the conditions of existence, not destined for future arising: they, in this world, are well-gone.'"

"How amazing, sir. How astounding, that there is neither extolling of one's own Dhamma nor deprecation of another's, but just the teaching of the Dhamma in its proper sphere, speaking to the point without mentioning oneself.

"You, venerable sir, teach the Dhamma for the abandoning of passion ... aversion ... delusion. Your Dhamma is well-taught. You have practiced for the abandoning of passion ... aversion ... delusion. You have practiced well in this world. Your passion ... aversion ... delusion is abandoned, its root destroyed, like an uprooted palm tree, deprived of the conditions of existence, not destined for future arising. You, in this world, are well-gone.

"Magnificent, Master Ananda! Magnificent! Just as if he were to place upright what was overturned, to reveal what was hidden, to point out the way to one who was lost, or to carry a lamp into the dark so that those with eyes could see forms, in the same way has Master Ananda -- through many lines of reasoning -- made the Dhamma clear. I go to the Buddha for refuge, to the Dhamma, & to the community of monks. May Master Ananda remember me as a lay follower who has gone for refuge from this day forward, for life."

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Anguttara Nikaya III.74

Sakka Sutta(^)

To the Sakyan

Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

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I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying among the Sakyans at Kapilavatthu in the Banyan Park. Now at that time the Blessed One had just recovered from being ill, was not long recovered from his illness. Then Mahanama the Sakyan went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One: "For a long time I have known the Dhamma taught by the Blessed One that 'There is knowledge for one who is concentrated, not for one who is not concentrated.' Now, does concentration come first, and knowledge after, or does knowledge come first, and concentration after?"

Then the thought occurred to Ven. Ananda, "Here the Blessed One has just recovered from being ill, is not long recovered from his illness, and yet Mahanama the Sakyan asks him this very deep question. What if I were to take Mahanama the Sakyan to one side and teach him the Dhamma?" So Ven. Ananda, taking Mahanama the Sakyan by the arm, led him to one side and said to him, "Mahanama, the Blessed One has talked both of the virtue of one who is in training [a stream-winner, a once-returner, or a non-returner] and of the virtue of one whose training is complete [an Arahant]. He has talked both of the concentration of one who is in training and of the concentration of one whose training is complete. He has talked both of the discernment of one who is in training and of the discernment of one whose training is complete.

"And what is the virtue of one who is in training? There is the case where a monk is virtuous. He dwells restrained in accordance with the Patimokkha, consummate in his behavior & sphere of activity. He trains himself, having undertaken the training rules, seeing danger in the slightest fault. This is called the virtue of one who is in training.

"And what is the concentration of one who is in training? There is the case where a monk -- quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful [mental] qualities -- enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. With the stilling of directed thought & evaluation, he enters & remains in the second jhana: rapture & pleasure born of composure, unification of awareness free from directed thought & evaluation -- internal assurance. With the fading of rapture he remains in equanimity, mindful & alert, and physically sensitive of pleasure. He enters & remains in the third jhana, of which the Noble Ones declare, 'Equanimous & mindful, he has a pleasurable abiding.' With the abandoning of pleasure & pain -- as with the earlier disappearance of elation & distress -- he enters & remains in the fourth jhana: purity of equanimity & mindfulness, neither pleasure nor pain. This is called the concentration of one who is in training.

"And what is the discernment of one who is in training? There is the case where a monk discerns as it actually is that 'This is stress...This is the origination of stress...This is the cessation of stress...This is the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress.' This is called the discernment of one who is in training.

"Then there is the disciple of the noble ones -- thus consummate in virtue, thus consummate in concentration, thus consummate in discernment -- who, through the ending of the mental fermentations, enters & remains in the fermentation-free release of awareness & release of discernment, having known & made them manifest for himself right in the here & now.

"In this way, Mahanama, the Blessed One has talked both of the virtue of one who is in training and of the virtue of one whose training is complete. He has talked both of the concentration of one who is in training and of the concentration of one whose training is complete. He has talked both of the discernment of one who is in training and of the discernment of one whose training is complete."

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Anguttara Nikaya III.79

Silabbata Sutta(^)

Precept & Practice

Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

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Then Ven. Ananda went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there, the Blessed One said to him, "Ananda, every precept & practice, every life, every holy life that is followed as of essential worth: is every one of them fruitful?"

"Lord, that is not [to be answered] with a categorical answer."

"In that case, Ananda, give an analytical answer."

"When -- by following a life of precept & practice, a life, a holy life that is followed as of essential worth -- one's unskillful mental qualities increase while one's skillful mental qualities decline: that sort of precept & practice, life, holy life that is followed as of essential worth is fruitless. But when -- by following a life of precept & practice, a life, a holy life that is followed as of essential worth -- one's unskillful mental qualities decline while one's skillful mental qualities increase: that sort of precept & practice, life, holy life that is followed as of essential worth is fruitful."

That is what Ven. Ananda said, and the Teacher approved. Then Ven. Ananda, [realizing,] "The Teacher approves of me," got up from his seat and, having bowed down to the Blessed One and circumambulating him, left.

Then not long after Ven. Ananda had left, the Blessed One said to the monks, "Monks, Ananda is in still in training, but it would not be easy to find his equal in discernment."

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Anguttara Nikaya III.83

Gadrabha Sutta(^)

The Donkey

Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

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"Monks, it is just as if a donkey were following right after a herd of cattle, saying, "I too am a cow! I too am a cow!" Its color is not that of a cow, its voice is not that of a cow, its hoof is not that of a cow, and yet it still keeps following right after the herd of cattle, saying, "I too am a cow! I too am a cow!" In the same way, there is the case where a certain monk follows right after the community of monks, saying, "I too am a monk! I too am a monk!" He doesn't have the other monks' desire for undertaking the training in heightened virtue, doesn't have their desire for undertaking the training in heightened mind (concentration), doesn't have their desire for undertaking the training in heightened discernment, and yet he still keeps following right after the community of monks, saying, "I too am a monk! I too am a monk!"

"So you should train yourselves: 'Strong will be our desire for undertaking the training in heightened virtue; strong will be our desire for undertaking the training in heightened mind (concentration); strong will be our desire for undertaking the training in heightened discernment.' That is how you should train yourselves."

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Anguttara Nikaya III.90

Sikkha Sutta(^)

Trainings (1)

Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

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"There are these three trainings. Which three? The training in heightened virtue, the training in heightened mind, the training in heightened discernment.

"And what is the training in heightened virtue? There is the case where a monk is virtuous. He dwells restrained in accordance with the Patimokkha, consummate in his behavior & sphere of activity. He trains himself, having undertaken the training rules, seeing danger in the slightest fault. This is called the training in heightened virtue.

"And what is the training in heightened mind? There is the case where a monk -- quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful [mental] qualities -- enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. With the stilling of directed thought & evaluation, he enters & remains in the second jhana: rapture & pleasure born of composure, unification of awareness free from directed thought & evaluation -- internal assurance. With the fading of rapture he remains in equanimity, mindful & alert, and physically sensitive of pleasure. He enters & remains in the third jhana, of which the Noble Ones declare, 'Equanimous & mindful, he has a pleasurable abiding.' With the abandoning of pleasure & pain -- as with the earlier disappearance of elation & distress -- he enters & remains in the fourth jhana: purity of equanimity & mindfulness, neither pleasure nor pain. This is called the training in heightened mind.

"And what is the training in heightened discernment? There is the case where a monk discerns as it actually is that 'This is stress ... This is the origination of stress ... This is the cessation of stress ... This is the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress.' This is called the training in heightened discernment.

"These are the three trainings."

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Anguttara Nikaya III.91

Sikkha Sutta(^)

Trainings (2)

Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

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"There are these three trainings. Which three? The training in heightened virtue, the training in heightened mind, the training in heightened discernment.

"And what is the training in heightened virtue? There is the case where a monk is virtuous. He dwells restrained in accordance with the Patimokkha, consummate in his behavior & sphere of activity. He trains himself, having undertaken the training rules, seeing danger in the slightest fault. This is called the training in heightened virtue.

"And what is the training in heightened mind? There is the case where a monk -- quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful [mental] qualities -- enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. With the stilling of directed thought & evaluation, he enters & remains in the second jhana: rapture & pleasure born of composure, unification of awareness free from directed thought & evaluation -- internal assurance. With the fading of rapture he remains in equanimity, mindful & alert, and physically sensitive of pleasure. He enters & remains in the third jhana, of which the Noble Ones declare, 'Equanimous & mindful, he has a pleasurable abiding.' With the abandoning of pleasure & pain -- as with the earlier disappearance of elation & distress -- he enters & remains in the fourth jhana: purity of equanimity & mindfulness, neither pleasure nor pain. This is called the training in heightened mind.

"And what is the training in heightened discernment? There is the case where a monk, through the ending of the mental fermentations, enters & remains in the fermentation-free release of awareness & release of discernment, having known & made them manifest for himself right in the here & now. This is called the training in heightened discernment.

"These are the three trainings."

Heightened virtue,
heightened mind,
heightened discernment:
        persistent,
        firm,
        steadfast,
        absorbed in jhana,
        mindful,
        with guarded faculties
you should practice them --

    as in front,
        so behind;
    as behind,
        so in front;
    as below,
        so above;
    as above,
        so below;
    as by day,
        so by night;
    as by night,
        so by day;

conquering all the directions
with limitless concentration.

This is called
the practice of training,
as well as the pure way of life.
[Following it,] you're called
self-awakened in the world,
enlightened,
one who's taken the path
            to its end.

With the cessation of sensory consciousness
of one released in the stopping of craving,
    the liberation of awareness
of one released in the stopping of craving,
is like the unbinding
                of a flame.

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Anguttara Nikaya III.93

Accayika Sutta (^)

Urgent

Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
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"There are these three urgent duties of a farming householder. Which three?

"There is the case where a farming householder quickly gets his field well-plowed & well-harrowed. Having quickly gotten his field well-plowed & well-harrowed, he quickly plants the seed. Having quickly planted the seed, he quickly lets in the water & then lets it out.

"These are the three urgent duties of a farming householder. Now, that farming householder does not have the power or might [to say:] 'May my crops spring up today, may the grains appear tomorrow, and may they ripen the next day.' But when the time has come, the farming householder's crops spring up, the grains appear, and they ripen.

"In the same way, there are these three urgent duties of a monk. Which three? The undertaking of heightened virtue, the undertaking of heightened mind, the undertaking of heightened discernment. These are the three urgent duties of a monk. Now, that monk does not have the power or might [to say:] 'May my mind be released from fermentations through lack of clinging/sustenance today or tomorrow or the next day.' But when the time has come, his mind is released from fermentations through lack of clinging/sustenance.

"Thus, monks, you should train yourselves: 'Strong will be our desire for the undertaking of heightened virtue. Strong will be our desire for the undertaking of heightened mind. Strong will be our desire for the undertaking of heightened discernment.' That's how you should train yourselves."

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Anguttara Nikaya III.97

Ajaniya Sutta(^)

The Thoroughbred

Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
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"Endowed with three characteristics, a king's excellent thoroughbred steed is worthy of a king, the wealth of a king, and counts as one of the king's own limbs. Which three? There is the case where a king's excellent thoroughbred steed is consummate in beauty, consummate in strength, and consummate in speed. Endowed with these three characteristics is a king's excellent thoroughbred steed worthy of a king, the wealth of a king, and counts as one of the king's own limbs.

"In the same way, a monk endowed with these three qualities is worthy of gifts, worthy of hospitality, worthy of offerings, worthy of respect, an unexcelled field of merit for the world. Which three? There is the case where a monk is consummate in beauty, consummate in strength, and consummate in speed.

"And how is a monk consummate in beauty? There is the case where a monk is virtuous. He dwells restrained in accordance with the Patimokkha, consummate in his behavior & sphere of activity. He trains himself, having undertaken the training rules, seeing danger in the slightest fault. This is how a monk is consummate in beauty.

"And how is a monk consummate in strength? There is the case where a monk keeps his persistence aroused for abandoning unskillful mental qualities and taking on skillful mental qualities. He is steadfast, solid in his effort, not shirking his duties with regard to skillful mental qualities. This is how a monk is consummate in strength.

"And how is a monk consummate in speed? There is the case where a monk discerns as it actually is present that 'This is stress.' He discerns as it actually is present that 'This is the origination of stress.' He discerns as it actually is present that 'This is the cessation of stress.' He discerns as it actually is present that 'This is the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress.' This is how a monk is consummate in speed.

"Endowed with these three qualities is a monk worthy of gifts, worthy of hospitality, worthy of offerings, worthy of respect, an unexcelled field of merit for the world."

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Anguttara Nikaya III.101

Lonaphala Sutta(^)

The Salt Crystal

Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

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"Monks, for anyone who says, 'In whatever way a person makes kamma, that is how it is experienced,' there is no living of the holy life, there is no opportunity for the right ending of stress. But for anyone who says, 'When a person makes kamma to be felt in such & such a way, that is how its result is experienced,' there is the living of the holy life, there is the opportunity for the right ending of stress.

"There is the case where a trifling evil deed done by a certain individual takes him to hell. There is the case where the very same sort of trifling deed done by another individual is experienced in the here & now, and for the most part barely appears for a moment.

"Now, a trifling evil deed done by what sort of individual takes him to hell? There is the case where a certain individual is undeveloped in [contemplating] the body, undeveloped in virtue, undeveloped in mind, undeveloped in discernment: restricted, small-hearted, dwelling with suffering. A trifling evil deed done by this sort of individual takes him to hell.

"Now, a trifling evil deed done by what sort of individual is experienced in the here & now, and for the most part barely appears for a moment? There is the case where a certain individual is developed in [contemplating] the body, developed in virtue, developed in mind, developed in discernment: unrestricted, large-hearted, dwelling with the unlimited. A trifling evil deed done by this sort of individual is experienced in the here & now, and for the most part barely appears for a moment.

"Suppose that a man were to drop a salt crystal into a small amount of water in a cup. What do you think? Would the water in the cup become salty because of the salt crystal, and unfit to drink?"

"Yes, lord. Why is that? There being only a small amount of water in the cup, it would become salty because of the salt crystal, and unfit to drink."

"Now suppose that a man were to drop a salt crystal into the River Ganges. What do you think? Would the water in the River Ganges become salty because of the salt crystal, and unfit to drink?"

"No, lord. Why is that? There being a great mass of water in the River Ganges, it would not become salty because of the salt crystal or unfit to drink."

"In the same way, there is the case where a trifling evil deed done by one individual [the first] takes him to hell; and there is the case where the very same sort of trifling deed done by the other individual is experienced in the here & now, and for the most part barely appears for a moment.

"Now, a trifling evil deed done by what sort of individual takes him to hell? There is the case where a certain individual is undeveloped in [contemplating] the body, undeveloped in virtue, undeveloped in mind, undeveloped in discernment: restricted, small-hearted, dwelling with suffering. A trifling evil deed done by this sort of individual takes him to hell.

"Now, a trifling evil deed done by what sort of individual is experienced in the here & now, and for the most part barely appears for a moment? There is the case where a certain individual is developed in [contemplating] the body, developed in virtue, developed in mind, developed in discernment: unrestricted, large-hearted, dwelling with the unlimited. A trifling evil deed done by this sort of individual is experienced in the here & now, and for the most part barely appears for a moment.

"There is the case where a certain person is thrown into jail for half a dollar (kahapana), is thrown into jail for a dollar, is thrown into jail for one hundred dollars. And there is the case where another person is not thrown into jail for half a dollar, is not thrown into jail for a dollar, is not thrown into jail for one hundred dollars. Now what sort of person is thrown into jail for half a dollar ... for a dollar ... for one hundred dollars? There is the case where a person is poor, of little wealth, of few possessions. This is the sort of person who is thrown into jail for half a dollar ... for a dollar ... for one hundred dollars. And what sort of person is not thrown into jail for half a dollar ... for a dollar ... for one hundred dollars? There is the case where a person is wealthy, with many belongings, many possessions. This is the sort of person who is not thrown into jail for half a dollar ... for a dollar ... for one hundred dollars.

"In the same way, there is the case where a trifling evil deed done by one individual takes him to hell; and there is the case where the very same sort of trifling deed done by the other individual is experienced in the here & now, and for the most part barely appears for a moment.

"Now, a trifling evil deed done by what sort of individual takes him to hell? There is the case where a certain individual is undeveloped in [contemplating] the body, undeveloped in virtue, undeveloped in mind, undeveloped in discernment: restricted, small-hearted, dwelling with suffering. A trifling evil deed done by this sort of individual takes him to hell.

"Now, a trifling evil deed done by what sort of individual is experienced in the here & now, and for the most part barely appears for a moment? There is the case where a certain individual is developed in [contemplating] the body, developed in virtue, developed in mind, developed in discernment: unrestricted, large-hearted, dwelling with the unlimited. A trifling evil deed done by this sort of individual is experienced in the here & now, and for the most part barely appears for a moment.

"It's just as when a goat butcher is empowered to beat or bind or slay or treat as he likes a certain person who steals a goat, but is not empowered to beat or bind or slay or treat as he likes another person who steals a goat. Now, when what sort of person has stolen a goat is the goat butcher empowered to beat him or bind him or slay him or treat him as he likes? There is the case where a person is poor, of little wealth, of few possessions. This is the sort of person who, when he has stolen a goat, the goat butcher is empowered to beat or bind or slay or treat as he likes. And when what sort of person has stolen a goat is the goat butcher not empowered to beat him or bind him or slay him or treat him as he likes? There is the case where a person is wealthy, with many belongings, many possessions; a king or a king's minister. This is the sort of person who, when he has stolen a goat, the goat butcher is not empowered to beat or bind or slay or treat as he likes. All he can do is go with his hands clasped before his heart and beg: 'Please, dear sir, give me a goat or the price of a goat.'

"In the same way, there is the case where a trifling evil deed done by one individual takes him to hell; and there is the case where the very same sort of trifling deed done by the other individual is experienced in the here & now, and for the most part barely appears for a moment.

"Now, a trifling evil deed done by what sort of individual takes him to hell? There is the case where a certain individual is undeveloped in [contemplating] the body, undeveloped in virtue, undeveloped in mind, undeveloped in discernment: restricted, small-hearted, dwelling with suffering. A trifling evil deed done by this sort of individual takes him to hell.

"Now, a trifling evil deed done by what sort of individual is experienced in the here & now, and for the most part barely appears for a moment? There is the case where a certain individual is developed in [contemplating] the body, developed in virtue, developed in mind, developed in discernment: unrestricted, large-hearted, dwelling with the unlimited. A trifling evil deed done by this sort of individual is experienced in the here & now, and for the most part barely appears for a moment.

"Monks, for anyone who says, 'In whatever way a person makes kamma, that is how it is experienced,' there is no living of the holy life, there is no opportunity for the right ending of stress. But for anyone who says, 'When a person makes kamma to be felt in such & such a way, that is how its result is experienced,' there is the living of the holy life, there is the opportunity for the right ending of stress."

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Anguttara Nikaya III.102

Pansadhovaka Sutta(6) (^)

The Dirt-washer

Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

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"There are these gross impurities in gold: dirty sand, gravel, & grit. The dirt-washer or his apprentice, having placed [the gold] in a vat, washes it again & again until he has washed them away.

"When he is rid of them, there remain the moderate impurities in the gold: coarse sand & fine grit. He washes the gold again & again until he has washed them away.

"When he is rid of them, there remain the fine impurities in the gold: fine sand & black dust. The dirt-washer or his apprentice washes the gold again & again until he has washed them away.

"When he is rid of them, there remains just the gold dust. The goldsmith or his apprentice, having placed it in a crucible, blows on it again & again to blow away the dross. The gold, as long as it has not been blown on again & again to the point where the impurities are blown away, as long as it is not refined & free from dross, is not pliant, malleable, or luminous. It is brittle and not ready to be worked. But there comes a time when the goldsmith or his apprentice has blown on the gold again & again until the dross is blown away. The gold, having been blown on again & again to the point where the impurities are blown away, is then refined, free from dross, plaint, malleable, & luminous. It is not brittle, and is ready to be worked. Then whatever sort of ornament he has in mind -- whether a belt, an earring, a necklace, or a gold chain -- the gold would serve his purpose.

"In the same way, there are these gross impurities in a monk intent on heightened mind: misconduct in body, speech, & mind. These the monk -- aware & able by nature -- abandons, destroys, dispels, wipes out of existence. When he is rid of them, there remain in him the moderate impurities: thoughts of sensuality, ill will, & harmfulness. These he abandons, destroys, dispels, wipes out of existence. When he is rid of them there remain in him the fine impurities: thoughts of his caste, thoughts of his home district, thoughts related to not wanting to be despised. These he abandons, destroys, dispels, wipes out of existence.

"When he is rid of them, there remain only thoughts of the Dhamma. His concentration is neither calm nor refined, it has not yet attained serenity or unity, and is kept in place by the fabrication of forceful restraint. But there comes a time when his mind grows steady inwardly, settles down, grows unified & concentrated. His concentration is calm & refined, has attained serenity & unity, and is no longer kept in place by the fabrication of forceful restraint.

"And then whichever of the higher knowledges he turns his mind to know & realize, he can witness them for himself whenever there is an opening.

"If he wants, he wields manifold supranormal powers. Having been one he becomes many; having been many he becomes one. He appears. He vanishes. He goes unimpeded through walls, ramparts, and mountains as if through space. He dives in and out of the earth as if it were water. He walks on water without sinking as if it were dry land. Sitting crosslegged he flies through the air like a winged bird. With his hand he touches and strokes even the sun and moon, so mighty and powerful. He exercises influence with his body even as far as the Brahma worlds. He can witness this for himself whenever there is an opening.

"If he wants, he hears -- by means of the divine ear-element, purified and surpassing the human -- both kinds of sounds: divine and human, whether near or far. He can witness this for himself whenever there is an opening.

"If he wants, he knows the awareness of other beings, other individuals, having encompassed it with his own awareness. He discerns a mind with passion as a mind with passion, and a mind without passion as a mind without passion. He discerns a mind with aversion as a mind with aversion, and a mind without aversion as a mind without aversion. He discerns a mind with delusion as a mind with delusion, and a mind without delusion as a mind without delusion. He discerns a restricted mind as a restricted mind, and a scattered mind as a scattered mind. He discerns an enlarged mind as an enlarged mind, and an unenlarged mind as an unenlarged mind. He discerns an excelled mind [one that is not at the most excellent level] as an excelled mind, and an unexcelled mind as an unexcelled mind. He discerns a concentrated mind as a concentrated mind, and an unconcentrated mind as an unconcentrated mind. He discerns a released mind as a released mind, and an unreleased mind as an unreleased mind. He can witness this for himself whenever there is an opening.

"If he wants, he recollects his manifold past lives (lit: previous homes), i.e., one birth, two births, three births, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, one hundred, one thousand, one hundred thousand, many aeons of cosmic contraction, many aeons of cosmic expansion, many aeons of cosmic contraction and expansion, [recollecting], 'There I had such a name, belonged to such a clan, had such an appearance. Such was my food, such my experience of pleasure and pain, such the end of my life. Passing away from that state, I re-arose there. There too I had such a name, belonged to such a clan, had such an appearance. Such was my food, such my experience of pleasure and pain, such the end of my life. Passing away from that state, I re-arose here.' Thus he remembers his manifold past lives in their modes and details. He can witness this for himself whenever there is an opening.

"If he wants, he sees -- by means of the divine eye, purified and surpassing the human -- beings passing away and re-appearing, and he discerns how they are inferior and superior, beautiful and ugly, fortunate and unfortunate in accordance with their kamma: 'These beings -- who were endowed with bad conduct of body, speech, and mind, who reviled the noble ones, held wrong views and undertook actions under the influence of wrong views -- with the break-up of the body, after death, have re-appeared in the plane of deprivation, the bad destination, the lower realms, in hell. But these beings -- who were endowed with good conduct of body, speech, and mind, who did not revile the noble ones, who held right views and undertook actions under the influence of right views -- with the break-up of the body, after death, have re-appeared in the good destinations, in the heavenly world.' Thus -- by means of the divine eye, purified and surpassing the human -- he sees beings passing away and re-appearing, and he discerns how they are inferior and superior, beautiful and ugly, fortunate and unfortunate in accordance with their kamma. He can witness this for himself whenever there is an opening.

"If he wants, then through the ending of the mental effluents, he remains in the effluent-free release of awareness and release of discernment, having known and made them manifest for himself right in the here and now. He can witness this for himself whenever there is an opening."

---o0o---

Note

6. The traditional title for this sutta (Sangha Sutta) has nothing to do with its content. Thus I have given it a new title. -- The translator. [Go back]

---o0o---

Anguttara Nikaya III.103

Nimitta Sutta [7]

Themes

Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

---o0o---

"A monk intent on heightened mind should attend periodically to three themes: he should attend periodically to the theme of concentration; he should attend periodically to the theme of uplifted energy; he should attend periodically to the theme of equanimity. If the monk intent on heightened mind were to attend solely to the theme of concentration, it is possible that his mind would tend to laziness. If he were to attend solely to the theme of uplifted energy, it is possible that his mind would tend to restlessness. If he were to attend solely to the theme of equanimity, it is possible that his mind would not be rightly centered for the stopping of the fermentations. But when he attends periodically to the theme of concentration, attends periodically to the theme of uplifted energy, attends periodically to the theme of equanimity, his mind is pliant, malleable, luminous, & not brittle. It is rightly centered for the stopping of the fermentations.

"Just as if a goldsmith or goldsmith's apprentice were to set up a smelter. Having set up the smelter, he would fire the receptacle. Having fired the receptacle, he would take hold of some gold with his tongs and place it in the receptacle. Periodically he would blow on it, periodically sprinkle it with water, periodically examine it closely. If he were solely to blow on it, it is possible that the gold would burn up. If he were solely to sprinkle it with water, it is possible that the gold would grow cold. If he were solely to examine it closely, it is possible that the gold would not come to full perfection. But when he periodically blows on it, periodically sprinkles it with water, periodically examines it closely, the gold becomes pliant, malleable, & luminous. It is not brittle, and is ready to be worked. Then whatever sort of ornament he has in mind -- whether a belt, an earring, a necklace, or a gold chain -- the gold would serve his purpose.

"In the same way, a monk intent on heightened mind should attend periodically to three themes: he should attend periodically to the theme of concentration; he should attend periodically to the theme of uplifted energy; he should attend periodically to the theme of equanimity. If the monk intent on heightened mind were to attend solely to the theme of concentration, it is possible that his mind would tend to laziness. If he were to attend solely to the theme of uplifted energy, it is possible that his mind would tend to restlessness. If he were to attend solely to the theme of equanimity, it is possible that his mind would not be rightly centered for the stopping of the fermentations. But when he attends periodically to the theme of concentration, attends periodically to the theme of uplifted energy, attends periodically to the theme of equanimity, his mind is pliant, malleable, luminous, and not brittle. It is rightly centered for the stopping of the fermentations.

"And then whichever of the higher knowledges he turns his mind to know & realize, he can witness them for himself whenever there is an opening.

"If he wants, he wields manifold supranormal powers. Having been one he becomes many; having been many he becomes one. He appears. He vanishes. He goes unimpeded through walls, ramparts, and mountains as if through space. He dives in and out of the earth as if it were water. He walks on water without sinking as if it were dry land. Sitting crosslegged he flies through the air like a winged bird. With his hand he touches and strokes even the sun and moon, so mighty and powerful. He exercises influence with his body even as far as the Brahma worlds. He can witness this for himself whenever there is an opening.

"If he wants, he hears -- by means of the divine ear-element, purified and surpassing the human -- both kinds of sounds: divine and human, whether near or far. He can witness this for himself whenever there is an opening.

"If he wants, he knows the awareness of other beings, other individuals, having encompassed it with his own awareness. He discerns a mind with passion as a mind with passion, and a mind without passion as a mind without passion. He discerns a mind with aversion as a mind with aversion, and a mind without aversion as a mind without aversion. He discerns a mind with delusion as a mind with delusion, and a mind without delusion as a mind without delusion. He discerns a restricted mind as a restricted mind, and a scattered mind as a scattered mind. He discerns an enlarged mind as an enlarged mind, and an unenlarged mind as an unenlarged mind. He discerns an excelled mind [one that is not at the most excellent level] as an excelled mind, and an unexcelled mind as an unexcelled mind. He discerns a concentrated mind as a concentrated mind, and an unconcentrated mind as an unconcentrated mind. He discerns a released mind as a released mind, and an unreleased mind as an unreleased mind. He can witness this for himself whenever there is an opening.

"If he wants, he recollects his manifold past lives (lit: previous homes), i.e., one birth, two births, three births, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, one hundred, one thousand, one hundred thousand, many aeons of cosmic contraction, many aeons of cosmic expansion, many aeons of cosmic contraction and expansion, [recollecting], 'There I had such a name, belonged to such a clan, had such an appearance. Such was my food, such my experience of pleasure and pain, such the end of my life. Passing away from that state, I re-arose there. There too I had such a name, belonged to such a clan, had such an appearance. Such was my food, such my experience of pleasure and pain, such the end of my life. Passing away from that state, I re-arose here.' Thus he remembers his manifold past lives in their modes and details. He can witness this for himself whenever there is an opening.

"If he wants, he sees -- by means of the divine eye, purified and surpassing the human -- beings passing away and re-appearing, and he discerns how they are inferior and superior, beautiful and ugly, fortunate and unfortunate in accordance with their kamma: 'These beings -- who were endowed with bad conduct of body, speech, and mind, who reviled the noble ones, held wrong views and undertook actions under the influence of wrong views -- with the break-up of the body, after death, have re-appeared in the plane of deprivation, the bad destination, the lower realms, in hell. But these beings -- who were endowed with good conduct of body, speech, and mind, who did not revile the noble ones, who held right views and undertook actions under the influence of right views -- with the break-up of the body, after death, have re-appeared in the good destinations, in the heavenly world.' Thus -- by means of the divine eye, purified and surpassing the human -- he sees beings passing away and re-appearing, and he discerns how they are inferior and superior, beautiful and ugly, fortunate and unfortunate in accordance with their kamma. He can witness this for himself whenever there is an opening.

"If he wants, then through the ending of the mental effluents, he remains in the effluent-free release of awareness and release of discernment, having known and made them manifest for himself right in the here and now. He can witness this for himself whenever there is an opening."

---o0o---
Note

7. The traditional title for this sutta (Samugatta Sutta: Arising-ness) has nothing to do with its content. Thus I have given it a new title. -- The translator. [Go back]

---o0o---

Anguttara Nikaya III.110

Kuta Sutta (^)

The Peak of the Roof

Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

---o0o---

Then Anathapindika the householder went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there, the Blessed One said to him: "Householder, when the mind is unprotected, bodily actions are unprotected as well, verbal actions are unprotected as well, mental actions are unprotected as well. When one's bodily actions, verbal actions, & mental actions are unprotected, one's bodily actions get soggy, one's verbal actions get soggy, one's mental actions get soggy. When one's bodily actions, verbal actions, & mental actions are soggy, one's bodily actions ... verbal actions ... mental actions rot. When one's bodily actions, verbal actions, & mental actions rot, one's death is not auspicious, the mode of one's dying not good.

"Just as when a peak-roofed house is poorly roofed: The peak of the roof is unprotected, the roof beams are unprotected, the walls are unprotected. The peak of the roof ... the roof beams ... the walls get soggy. The peak of the roof ... the roof beams ... the walls then rot.

"In the same way, when the mind is unprotected, bodily actions ... verbal actions ... mental actions are unprotected as well .... One's bodily ... verbal ... mental actions get soggy .... One's bodily ... verbal ... mental actions rot. When one's bodily actions, verbal actions, & mental actions rot, one's death is not auspicious, the mode of one's dying not good.

"Now, when the mind is protected, bodily actions are protected as well, verbal actions are protected as well, mental actions are protected as well. When one's bodily actions, verbal actions, & mental actions are protected, one's bodily actions ... verbal actions ... mental actions don't get soggy. When one's bodily actions, verbal actions, & mental actions aren't soggy, one's bodily actions ... verbal actions ... mental actions don't rot. When one's bodily actions, verbal actions, & mental actions don't rot, one's death is auspicious, the mode of one's dying is good.

"Just as when a peak-roofed house is well roofed: The peak of the roof is protected, the roof beams are protected, the walls are protected. The peak of the roof ... the roof beams ... the walls don't get soggy. The peak of the roof ... the roof beams ... the walls don't rot.

"In the same way, when the mind is protected, bodily actions ... verbal actions ... mental actions are protected as well .... One's bodily ... verbal ... mental actions don't get soggy .... One's bodily ... verbal ... mental actions don't rot. When one's bodily actions, verbal actions, & mental actions don't rot, one's death is auspicious, the mode of one's dying is good."

---o0o---

Anguttara Nikaya III.123

Moneyya Sutta

Sagacity

Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

---o0o---

Monks, there are these three forms of sagacity. Which three? Bodily sagacity, verbal sagacity, and mental sagacity.

And what is bodily sagacity? There is the case where a monk abstains from taking life, abstains from theft, abstains from unchastity. This is called bodily sagacity.

And what is verbal sagacity? There is the case where a monk abstains from lying, abstains from divisive tale-bearing, abstains from harsh language, abstains from idle chatter. This is called verbal sagacity.

And what is mental sagacity? There is the case where a monk who -- with the wasting away of the mental fermentations -- remains in the fermentation-free release of awareness and release of discernment, having known and made them manifest for himself right in the here and now. This is called mental sagacity.

These, monks, are the three forms of sagacity.

A sage in body, a sage in speech,
    A sage in mind, without fermentation:
a sage consummate in sagacity
    is said to have abandoned
        everything.         -- the All.

---o0o---

Anguttara Nikaya III.126

Gotamaka-cetiya(^)

At Gotamaka Shrine

Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

---o0o---

On one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Vesali at Gotamaka Shrine. There he addressed the monks, "Monks!"

"Yes, lord," the monks responded.

The Blessed One said, "It's through direct knowledge that I teach the Dhamma, not without direct knowledge. It's with a cause that I teach the Dhamma, not without a cause. It's with marvels that I teach the Dhamma, not without marvels. Because I teach the Dhamma through direct knowledge and not without direct knowledge, because I teach the Dhamma with a cause and not without a cause, because I teach the Dhamma with marvels and not without marvels, there is good reason for my instruction, good reason for my admonition. And that is enough for you to be content, enough for you to be gratified, enough for you to take joy that the Blessed One is rightly self-awakened, the Dhamma is well-taught by the Blessed One, and the community has practiced rightly."

That is what the Blessed One said. Gratified, the monks delighted in the Blessed One's words. And while this explanation was being given, the ten-thousand fold cosmos quaked.

---o0o---

Anguttara Nikaya III.129

Katuviya Sutta(^)

Putrid

Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
---o0o---

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying at Varanasi in the Game Refuge at Isipatana. Then early in the morning the Blessed One, having put on his robes and carrying his bowl & outer robe, went into Varanasi for alms. As he was walking for alms near the fig-tree at the cattle yoke, he saw a certain monk whose delight was in what is empty, whose delight was in exterior things, his mindfulness muddled, his alertness lacking, his concentration lacking, his mind gone astray, his faculties uncontrolled. On seeing him, the Blessed One said to him: "Monk, monk, don't let yourself putrefy! On one who lets himself putrefy & stink with the stench of carrion, there's no way that flies won't swarm & attack!"

Then the monk -- admonished with this, the Blessed One's admonishment -- came to his senses.

So the Blessed One, having gone for alms in Varanasi, after the meal, returning from his alms round, addressed the monks [and told them what had happened].

When this was said, a certain monk said to the Blessed One, "What, lord, is putrefaction? What is the stench of carrion? What are flies?"

"Greed, monk, is putrefaction. Ill will is the stench of carrion. Evil, unskillful thoughts are flies. On one who lets himself putrefy & stink with the stench of carrion, there's no way that flies won't swarm & attack.

"On one whose eyes & ears
are unguarded,
whose senses
are unrestrained,
    flies     swarm:
    resolves     dependent on passion.
The monk who is putrid,
who stinks of the stench of carrion,
is far from Unbinding.
His share is     vexation.

Whether he stays
in village or wilderness,
having gained for himself no
tranquillity,
    he's surrounded by flies.
But those who are consummate
        in virtue,
who delight
        in discernment & calm,
pacified, they sleep in ease.
    No flies settle on them."

---o0o---

Anguttara Nikaya III.133

Lekha Sutta(^)

Inscriptions

Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
---o0o---

"Monks, there are these three types of individuals to be found existing in the world. Which three? An individual like an inscription in rock, an individual like an inscription in soil, and an individual like an inscription in water.

"And how is an individual like an inscription in rock? There is the case where a certain individual is often angered, and his anger stays with him a long time. Just as an inscription in rock is not quickly effaced by wind or water and lasts a long time, in the same way a certain individual is often angered, and his anger stays with him a long time. This is called an individual like an inscription in rock.

"And how is an individual like an inscription in soil? There is the case where a certain individual is often angered, but his anger doesn't stay with him a long time. Just as an inscription in soil is quickly effaced by wind or water and doesn't last a long time, in the same way a certain individual is often angered, but his anger doesn't stay with him a long time. This is called an individual like an inscription in soil.

"And how is an individual like an inscription in water? There is the case where a certain individual -- when spoken to roughly, spoken to harshly, spoken to in an unpleasing way -- is nevertheless congenial, companionable, & courteous. Just as an inscription in water immediately disappears and doesn't last a long time, in the same way a certain individual -- when spoken to roughly, spoken to harshly, spoken to in an unpleasing way -- is nevertheless congenial, companionable, & courteous. This is called an individual like an inscription in water.

"These are the three types of individuals to be found existing in the world."

---o0o---

Anguttara Nikaya III.137

Dhamma-niyama Sutta (^)

The Discourse on the Orderliness of the Dhamma

Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
---o0o---

I have heard that at one time the Blessed One was staying in Savatthi at Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's park.There he addressed the monks, saying, "Monks."

"Yes, lord," the monks responded to him.

The Blessed One said, "Whether or not there is the arising of Tathagatas, this property stands -- this steadfastness of the Dhamma, this orderliness of the Dhamma: All processes are inconstant.

"The Tathagata directly awakens to that, breaks through to that. Directly awakening & breaking through to that, he declares it, teaches it, describes it, sets it forth. He reveals it, explains it, & makes it plain: All processes are inconstant.

"Whether or not there is the arising of Tathagatas, this property stands -- this steadfastness of the Dhamma, this orderliness of the Dhamma: All processes are stressful.

"The Tathagata directly awakens to that, breaks through to that. Directly awakening & breaking through to that, he declares it, teaches it, describes it, sets it forth. He reveals it, explains it, & makes it plain: All processes are stressful.

"Whether or not there is the arising of Tathagatas, this property stands -- this steadfastness of the Dhamma, this orderliness of the Dhamma: All phenomena are not-self.

"The Tathagata directly awakens to that, breaks through to that. Directly awakening & breaking through to that, he declares it, teaches it, describes it, sets it forth. He reveals it, explains it, & makes it plain: All phenomena are not-self."

That is what the Blessed One said. Gratified, the monks delighted at his words.

 

---o0o---

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