II. READINGS – DHAMMA

Dhamma

Basic Principles

Phenomena are

preceded by the heart,

ruled by the heart,

made of the heart.

If you speak or act with a corrupted heart,

then suffering follows you—

as the wheel of the cart,

the track of the ox that pulls it.

Phenomena are

preceded by the heart,

ruled by the heart,

made of the heart.

If you speak or act with a calm, bright heart,

then happiness follows you

like a shadow that never leaves.

Heedfulness:      the path to the Deathless;

Heedlessness:      the path to death.

The heedful do not die;

The heedless are as if

already dead.

Knowing this as a true distinction,

those wise      in heedfulness

rejoice      in heedfulness,

enjoying the range of the noble ones.

“There are these five facts that one should reflect on often, whether one is a woman or a man, lay or ordained. Which five?

“‘I am subject to aging, have not gone beyond aging’….

“‘I am subject to illness, have not gone beyond illness’….

“‘I am subject to death, have not gone beyond death’….

“‘I will grow different, separate from all that is dear and appealing to me’….

“‘I am the owner of my actions (kamma), heir to my actions, born of my actions, related through my actions, and have my actions as my arbitrator. Whatever I do, for good or for evil, to that will I fall heir’….

“These are the five facts that one should reflect on often, whether one is a woman or a man, lay or ordained.

“Now, for what compelling reason should one often reflect… that ‘I am subject to aging, have not gone beyond aging’? There are beings who are intoxicated with a [typical] youth’s intoxication with youth. Because of that intoxication with youth, they conduct themselves in a bad way in body… in speech… and in mind. But when they often reflect on that fact, that youth’s intoxication with youth will either be entirely abandoned or grow weaker….

“Now, for what compelling reason should one often reflect… that ‘I am subject to illness, have not gone beyond illness’? There are beings who are intoxicated with a [typical] healthy person’s intoxication with health. Because of that intoxication with health, they conduct themselves in a bad way in body… in speech… and in mind. But when they often reflect on that fact, that healthy person’s intoxication with health will either be entirely abandoned or grow weaker….

“Now, for what compelling reason should one often reflect… that ‘I am subject to death, have not gone beyond death’? There are beings who are intoxicated with a [typical] living person’s intoxication with life. Because of that intoxication with life, they conduct themselves in a bad way in body… in speech… and in mind. But when they often reflect on that fact, that living person’s intoxication with life will either be entirely abandoned or grow weaker….

“Now, for what compelling reason should one often reflect… that ‘I will grow different, separate from all that is dear and appealing to me’? There are beings who feel desire and passion for the things they find dear and appealing. Because of that passion, they conduct themselves in a bad way in body… in speech… and in mind. But when they often reflect on that fact, that desire and passion for the things they find dear and appealing will either be entirely abandoned or grow weaker….

“Now, for what compelling reason should one often reflect… that ‘I am the owner of my actions (kamma), heir to my actions, born of my actions, related through my actions, and have my actions as my arbitrator. Whatever I do, for good or for evil, to that will I fall heir’? There are beings who conduct themselves in a bad way in body… in speech… and in mind. But when they often reflect on that fact, that bad conduct in body, speech, and mind will either be entirely abandoned or grow weaker….

“Now, a disciple of the noble ones considers this: ‘I am not the only one subject to aging, who has not gone beyond aging. To the extent that there are beings—past and future, passing away and re-arising—all beings are subject to aging, have not gone beyond aging.’ When he/she often reflects on this, the [factors of the] path take birth. He/she sticks with that path, develops it, cultivates it. As he/she sticks with that path, develops it and cultivates it, the fetters are abandoned, the latent tendencies destroyed. [Similarly with each of the other contemplations.]”

The non-doing      of any evil,

the performance      of what’s skillful,

the cleansing      of one’s own mind:

This is the Buddhas’ teaching.

Not disparaging, not injuring,

restraint      in line with the Patimokkha,

moderation      in food,

dwelling      in seclusion,

commitment to the heightened mind:

This is the Buddhas’ teaching.

Dhp 183, 185

“I don’t see any one quality by which unarisen skillful qualities arise, and arisen unskillful qualities subside, like friendship with admirable people. When a person is friends with admirable people, unarisen skillful qualities arise, and arisen unskillful qualities subside.”

AN 1:72

“Now what, TigerPaw (Byagghapajja), is friendship with admirable people? There is the case where a lay person, in whatever town or village he may dwell, spends time with householders or householders’ sons, young or old, who are advanced in virtue. He talks with them, engages them in discussions. He emulates consummate conviction [in the principle of kamma] in those who are consummate in conviction, consummate virtue in those who are consummate in virtue, consummate generosity in those who are consummate in generosity, and consummate discernment in those who are consummate in discernment. This is called friendship with admirable people.”

“A female disciple of the noble ones who grows in terms of these five types of growth grows in the noble growth, grasps hold of what is essential, what is excellent in the body. Which five? She grows in terms of conviction, in terms of virtue, in terms of learning, in terms of generosity, in terms of discernment. Growing in terms of these five types of growth, the female disciple of the noble ones grows in the noble growth, grasps hold of what is essential, what is excellent in the body.

“Growing in conviction and virtue

discernment, generosity, and learning,

a virtuous female lay disciple

such as this

takes hold of the essence within herself.”

“‘Kamma should be known. The cause by which kamma comes into play should be known. The diversity in kamma should be known. The result of kamma should be known. The cessation of kamma should be known. The path of practice for the cessation of kamma should be known.’ Thus it has been said. Why was it said?

“Intention, I tell you, is kamma. Intending, one does kamma by way of body, speech, and intellect.

“And what is the cause by which kamma comes into play? Contact….

“And what is the diversity in kamma? There is kamma to be experienced in purgatory, kamma to be experienced in the realm of common animals, kamma to be experienced in the realm of the hungry shades, kamma to be experienced in the human world, kamma to be experienced in the celestial worlds….

“And what is the result of kamma? The result of kamma is of three sorts, I tell you: that which arises right here and now, that which arises later [in this lifetime], and that which arises following that….

“And what is the cessation of kamma? From the cessation of contact is the cessation of kamma….

“And what is the way leading to the cessation of kamma? Just this noble eightfold path: right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration.

“Now when a disciple of the noble ones discerns kamma in this way, the cause by which kamma comes into play in this way, the diversity of kamma in this way, the result of kamma in this way, the cessation of kamma in this way, and the path of practice leading to the cessation of kamma in this way, then he discerns this penetrative holy life as the cessation of kamma.”

The Buddha: “What do you think, Rahula? What is a mirror for?”

Rahula: “For reflection, sir.”

The Buddha: “In the same way, Rahula, bodily actions, verbal actions, and mental actions are to be done with repeated reflection.

“Whenever you want to perform a bodily action, you should reflect on it: ‘This bodily action I want to perform—would it lead to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both? Is it an unskillful bodily action, with painful consequences, painful results?’ If, on reflection, you know that it would lead to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both; it would be an unskillful bodily action with painful consequences, painful results, then any bodily action of that sort is absolutely unfit for you to do. But if on reflection you know that it would not cause affliction… it would be a skillful bodily action with happy consequences, happy results, then any bodily action of that sort is fit for you to do.

[Similarly with verbal actions and mental actions.]

“While you are performing a bodily action, you should reflect on it: ‘This bodily action I am doing—is it leading to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both? Is it an unskillful bodily action, with painful consequences, painful results?’ If, on reflection, you know that it is leading to self-affliction, to affliction of others, or both… you should give it up. But if on reflection you know that it is not… you may continue with it.

[Similarly with verbal actions and mental actions.]

“Having performed a bodily action, you should reflect on it…. If, on reflection, you know that it led to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both; it was an unskillful bodily action with painful consequences, painful results, then you should confess it, reveal it, lay it open to the Teacher or to a knowledgeable companion in the holy life. Having confessed it… you should exercise restraint in the future. But if on reflection you know that it did not lead to affliction… it was a skillful bodily action with happy consequences, happy results, then you should stay mentally refreshed and joyful, training day and night in skillful qualities.

[Similarly with verbal actions.]

“Having performed a mental action, you should reflect on it…. If, on reflection, you know that it led to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both; it was an unskillful mental action with painful consequences, painful results, then you should feel horrified, humiliated, and disgusted with it. Feeling horrified… you should exercise restraint in the future. But if on reflection you know that it did not lead to affliction… it was a skillful mental action with happy consequences, happy results, then you should stay mentally refreshed and joyful, training day and night in skillful qualities.

“Rahula, all the contemplatives and brahmans in the course of the past who purified their bodily actions, verbal actions, and mental actions, did it through repeated reflection on their bodily actions, verbal actions, and mental actions in just this way.

“All the contemplatives and brahmans in the course of the future… All the contemplatives and brahmans at present who purify their bodily actions, verbal actions, and mental actions, do it through repeated reflection on their bodily actions, verbal actions, and mental actions in just this way.

“Therefore, Rahula, you should train yourself: ‘I will purify my bodily actions through repeated reflection. I will purify my verbal actions through repeated reflection. I will purify my mental actions through repeated reflection.’ That’s how you should train yourself.”

That is what the Blessed One said. Gratified, Ven. Rahula delighted in the Blessed One’s words.

“These five things are welcome, agreeable, pleasant, and hard to obtain in the world. Which five? Long life… beauty… pleasure… status… rebirth in heaven…. Now, I tell you, these five things are not to be obtained by reason of prayers or wishes. If they were to be obtained by reason of prayers or wishes, who here would lack them? It is not fitting for the disciple of the noble ones who desires long life to pray for it or to delight in doing so. Instead, the disciple of the noble ones who desires long life should follow the path of practice leading to long life. In so doing, he will attain long life, either human or divine. [Similarly with beauty, pleasure, status, and rebirth in heaven.]”

I have heard that at one time the Blessed One was staying in Savatthi at Jeta’s Grove, Anathapindika’s park. Then a certain deva, in the far extreme of the night, her extreme radiance lighting up the entirety of Jeta’s Grove, approached the Blessed One. On approaching, having bowed down to the Blessed One, she stood to one side. As she was standing there, she addressed him with a verse.

“Many devas and humans beings

give thought to protective charms,

desiring well-being.

Tell, then, the highest protective charm.”

[The Buddha:]

“Not consorting with fools,

consorting with the wise,

homage to those deserving of homage:

This is the highest protective charm.

Living in a civilized land,

having made merit in the past,

directing oneself rightly:

This is the highest protective charm.

Broad knowledge, skill,

well-mastered discipline,

well-spoken words :

This is the highest protective charm.

Support for one’s parents,

assistance to one’s wife and children,

consistency in one’s work:

This is the highest protective charm.

Generosity, living in rectitude,

assistance to one’s relatives,

deeds that are blameless:

This is the highest protective charm.

Avoiding, abstaining from evil;

refraining from intoxicants,

being heedful of the qualities of the mind:

This is the highest protective charm.

Respect, humility,

contentment, gratitude,

hearing the Dhamma on timely occasions:

This is the highest protective charm.

Patience, composure,

seeing contemplatives,

discussing the Dhamma on timely occasions:

This is the highest protective charm.

Austerity, celibacy,

seeing the noble truths,

realizing Unbinding:

This is the highest protective charm.

A mind that, when touched

by the ways of the world,

is unshaken, sorrowless, dustless, secure:

This is the highest protective charm.

Everywhere undefeated

when acting in this way,

people go everywhere in well-being:

This is their highest protective charm.”

Generosity

“These are the five rewards of generosity: One is dear and appealing to people at large, one is admired by good people, one’s good name is spread about, one does not stray from the rightful duties of the householder, and with the break-up of the body at death, one reappears in a good destination, in the heavenly worlds.”

AN 5:35

What the miser fears,

that keeps him from giving,

is the very danger that comes

when he doesn’t give.

SN 1:32

No misers go

to the world of the devas.

Those who don’t praise giving

are fools.

The enlightened

express their approval for giving

and so find ease

in the world beyond.

“If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving and sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared, if there were someone to receive their gift. But because beings do not know, as I know, the results of giving and sharing, they eat without having given. The stain of miserliness overcomes their minds.”

Now on that occasion Princess Sumana—with an entourage of 500 ladies-in-waiting riding on 500 carriages—went to where the Buddha was staying. On arrival, having bowed down, she sat to one side. As she was sitting there, she said to the Blessed One, “Suppose there were two disciples of the Blessed One, equal in conviction, virtue, and discernment, but one was a giver of alms and the other was not. At the break-up of the body, after death, they would reappear in a good destination, in the heavenly world. Having become devas, would there be any distinction, any difference between the two?”

“Yes, there would,” said the Blessed One. “The one who was a giver of alms, on becoming a deva, would surpass the other in five areas: in divine life span, divine beauty, divine pleasure, divine status, and divine power….”

“And if they were to fall from there and reappear in this world: Having become human beings, would there be any distinction, any difference between the two?”

“Yes, there would,” said the Blessed One. “The one who was a giver of alms, on becoming a human being, would surpass the other in five areas: in human life span, human beauty, human pleasure, human status, and human power….”

“And if they were to go forth from home into the homeless life of a monk: Having gone forth, would there be any distinction, any difference between the two?”

“Yes, there would,” said the Blessed One. “The one who was a giver of alms, on going forth, would surpass the other in five areas: He would often be asked to make use of robes; it would be rare that he wouldn’t be asked. He would often be asked to take food… to make use of shelter… to make use of medicine; it would be rare that he wouldn’t be asked. His companions in the holy life would often treat him with pleasing actions… pleasing words… pleasing thoughts… and present him with pleasing gifts, and rarely with unpleasing….”

“And if both were to attain arahantship, would there be any distinction, any difference between their attainments of arahantship?”

“In that case, I tell you that there would be no difference between the two as to their release.”

“It’s amazing, lord, and astounding. Just this is reason enough to give alms, to make merit, in that it benefits one as a deva, as a human being, and as a monk.”

Virtue

“These five gifts, five great gifts—original, long-standing, traditional, ancient, unadulterated, unadulterated from the beginning—are not open to suspicion, will never be open to suspicion, and are unfaulted by knowledgeable brahmans and contemplatives. Which five?

“There is the case where a disciple of the noble ones, abandoning the taking of life, abstains from taking life. In doing so, he gives freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings. In giving freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings, he gains a share in limitless freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, and freedom from oppression….

“Abandoning taking what is not given (stealing), he abstains from taking what is not given….

“Abandoning illicit sex, he abstains from illicit sex….

“Abandoning lying, he abstains from lying….

“Abandoning the use of intoxicants, he abstains from taking intoxicants. In doing so, he gives freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings. In giving freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings, he gains a share in limitless freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, and freedom from oppression…. This is the fifth gift, the fifth great gift—original, long-standing, traditional, ancient, unadulterated, unadulterated from the beginning—that is not open to suspicion, will never be open to suspicion, and is unfaulted by knowledgeable contemplatives and brahmans.”

AN 7:39

“Cleansing with regard to the body, Cunda, is threefold; cleansing with regard to speech is fourfold; and cleansing with regard to the mind, threefold. And how is cleansing with regard to the body threefold? There is the case where a certain person, abandoning the taking of life, abstains from the taking of life. He dwells with his rod laid down, his knife laid down, scrupulous, merciful, compassionate for the welfare of all living beings. Abandoning the taking of what is not given, he abstains from taking what is not given. He does not take the ungiven property of another, whether in a village or in the wilderness, with thievish intent. Abandoning sensual misconduct, he abstains from sensual misconduct. He does not get sexually involved with those who are protected by their mothers, their fathers, their brothers, their sisters, their relatives, or their Dhamma; those with husbands, those who entail punishments, or even those crowned with flowers by another man. This is how cleansing with regard to the body is threefold.

“And how is cleansing with regard to speech fourfold? There is the case where a certain person, abandoning false speech, abstains from false speech. When he has been called to a town meeting, a group meeting, a gathering of his relatives, his guild, or of the royalty [i.e., a court proceeding], if he is asked as a witness, ‘Come and tell, good man, what you know’: If he doesn’t know, he says, ‘I don’t know.’ If he does know, he says, ‘I know.’ If he hasn’t seen, he says, ‘I haven’t seen.’ If he has seen, he says, ’I have seen.’ Thus he doesn’t consciously tell a lie for his own sake, for the sake of another, or for the sake of any reward. Abandoning divisive speech, he abstains from divisive speech. What he has heard here he does not tell there to break those people apart from these people here. What he has heard there he does not tell here to break these people apart from those people there. Thus reconciling those who have broken apart or cementing those who are united, he loves concord, delights in concord, enjoys concord, speaks things that create concord. Abandoning abusive speech, he abstains from abusive speech. He speaks words that are soothing to the ear, that are affectionate, that go to the heart, that are polite, appealing & pleasing to people at large. Abandoning idle chatter, he abstains from idle chatter. He speaks in season, speaks what is factual, what is in accordance with the goal, the Dhamma, and the Vinaya. He speaks words worth treasuring, seasonable, reasonable, circumscribed, connected with the goal. This is how cleansing with regard to speech is fourfold.

“And how is cleansing with regard to the mind threefold? There is the case where a certain person is not covetous. He does not covet the property of another, thinking, ‘O, if only what belongs to another were mine!’ He is not malevolent at heart or destructive in his resolves. He thinks, ‘May these beings—free from animosity, free from oppression, and free from trouble—look after themselves with ease.’ He has right views and an unperverted outlook. He believes, ‘There is what is given, what is offered, what is sacrificed. There are fruits and results of good and bad actions. There is this world and the next world. There is mother and father. There are spontaneously reborn beings; there are contemplatives and brahmans who, living rightly and practicing rightly, proclaim this world and the next after having directly known and realized it for themselves.’ This is how cleansing with regard to the mind is threefold.”

“There are these five benefits in being virtuous, in being consummate in virtue. Which five? There is the case where a virtuous person, consummate in virtue, through not being heedless in his affairs amasses a great quantity of wealth…. His good name is spread about…. When approaching an assembly of nobles, brahmans, householders, or contemplatives, he does so unabashed and with assurance…. He dies without becoming delirious…. With the break-up of the body, after death, he reappears in a good destination, in the heavenly world. These are the five benefits in being virtuous, in being consummate in virtue.”

This is to be done by one skilled in aims

appreciating the state of peace:

Be capable, upright, and straightforward,

easy to instruct, gentle, and not proud,

content and easy to support,

with few duties, living lightly,

with peaceful faculties, masterful,

modest, and no greed for supporters.

Do not do the slightest thing

that the wise would later censure.

Think: Happy and secure,

may all beings be happy at heart.

Whatever beings there may be,

weak or strong, without exception,

long, large,

middling, short,

subtle, blatant,

seen & unseen,

near & far,

born & seeking birth:

May all beings be happy at heart.

Let no one deceive another

or despise anyone anywhere,

or through anger or irritation

wish for another to suffer.

As a mother would risk her life

to protect her child, her only child,

even so should one cultivate

a limitless heart

with regard to all beings.

With good will for the entire cosmos,

cultivate a limitless heart:

above, below, & all around,

unobstructed, without emnity or hate.

Whether standing, walking,

sitting, or lying down,

as long as one is alert,

one should be resolved on this mindfulness.

This is called a sublime abiding here & now.

Not taken with views,

but virtuous & consummate in vision,

having subdued desire for sensual pleasures,

one never again will lie in the womb.

Heaven

Blinded this world—

how few here see clearly!

Just as birds that have escaped from a net are

few, few

are the people who make it to heaven.

The Buddha: “Suppose that a Universal Monarch possessed the seven treasures [the treasure of a divine wheel, the treasure of an ideal jewel, the treasure of an ideal elephant, the treasure of an ideal horse, the treasure of an ideal wife, the treasure of an ideal steward, and the treasure of an ideal counselor] and the four forms of prowess [he is surpassingly attractive, he has a surpassingly long life, he is surpassingly free from illness, and he loves his subjects and is loved by them]. Now what do you think? Would he… experience pleasure and joy?”

The monks: “Yes, lord.”

Then, taking a small stone, the size of his hand, the Blessed One said, “What do you think? Which is larger, this small stone that I have taken, the size of my hand, or the Himalayas, king of mountains?”

“It’s minuscule, the small stone…. It doesn’t count beside the Himalayas, the king of mountains. It’s not even a small fraction. There’s no comparison.”

“In the same way, the pleasure and joy that the Universal Monarch experiences on account of his seven treasures and four forms of prowess do not count beside the pleasures of heaven. They’re not even a small fraction. There is no comparison.”

Drawbacks

“Now what is the allure of sensuality? There are, monks, these five strands of sensuality. Which five? Forms cognizable via the eye—agreeable, pleasing, charming, endearing, fostering desire, enticing. Sounds cognizable via the ear… Aromas cognizable via the nose… Flavors cognizable via the tongue… Tactile sensations cognizable via the body—agreeable, pleasing, charming, endearing, fostering desire, enticing. Now whatever pleasure or joy arises in dependence on these five strands of sensuality, that is the allure of sensuality.

“And what is the drawback of sensuality? There is the case where, on account of the occupation by which a clansman makes a living—whether checking or accounting or calculating or plowing or trading or cattle tending or archery or as a king’s man, or whatever the occupation may be—he faces cold; he faces heat; being harassed by mosquitoes, flies, wind, sun, and creeping things; dying from hunger and thirst.

“Now this drawback in the case of sensuality, this mass of stress visible here and now, has sensuality for its reason, sensuality for its source, sensuality for its cause, the reason being simply sensuality.

“If the clansman gains no wealth while thus working and striving and making effort, he sorrows, grieves and laments, beats his breast, becomes distraught: ‘My work is in vain, my efforts are fruitless!’ Now this drawback too in the case of sensuality, this mass of stress visible here and now, has sensuality for its reason….

“If the clansman gains wealth while thus working and striving and making effort, he experiences pain and distress in protecting it: ‘How shall neither kings nor thieves make off with my property, nor fire burn it, nor water sweep it away, nor hateful heirs make off with it?’ And as he thus guards and watches over his property, kings or thieves make off with it, or fire burns it, or water sweeps it away, or hateful heirs make off with it. And he sorrows, grieves and laments, beats his breast, becomes distraught: ‘What was mine is no more!’ Now this drawback too in the case of sensuality, this mass of stress visible here and now, has sensuality for its reason….

“Furthermore, it is with sensuality for the reason, sensuality for the source, sensuality for the cause, the reason being simply sensuality, that kings quarrel with kings, nobles with nobles, brahmans with brahmans, householders with householders, mother with child, child with mother, father with child, child with father, brother with brother, sister with sister, brother with sister, sister with brother, friend with friend. And then in their quarrels, brawls, and disputes, they attack one another with fists or with clods or with sticks or with knives, so that they incur death or deadly pain. Now this drawback too in the case of sensuality, this mass of stress visible here and now, has sensuality for its reason….

“Furthermore, it is with sensuality for the reason, sensuality for the source… that (men), taking swords and shields and buckling on bows and quivers, charge into battle massed in double array while arrows and spears are flying and swords are flashing; and there they are wounded by arrows and spears, and their heads are cut off by swords, so that they incur death or deadly pain. Now this drawback too in the case of sensuality, this mass of stress visible here and now, has sensuality for its reason….

“Furthermore, it is with sensuality for the reason, sensuality for the source… that (men), taking swords and shields and buckling on bows and quivers, charge slippery bastions while arrows and spears are flying and swords are flashing; and there they are splashed with boiling cow dung and crushed under heavy weights, and their heads are cut off by swords, so that they incur death or deadly pain. Now this drawback too in the case of sensuality, this mass of stress visible here and now, has sensuality for its reason, sensuality for its source, sensuality for its cause, the reason being simply sensuality.

“And what is the escape from sensuality? Any subduing of passion and desire, abandoning of passion and desire for sensuality: That is the escape from sensuality.”

“Which do you think is greater: the tears you have shed while transmigrating and wandering this long time—crying and weeping from being joined with what is displeasing, from being separated from what is pleasing—or the water in the four great oceans?” … “This is the greater: The tears you have shed…. Why is that? From an inconceivable beginning comes transmigration. A beginning point is not evident, although beings hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving are transmigrating and wandering on. Long have you thus experienced stress, experienced pain, experienced loss, swelling the cemeteries—long enough to become disenchanted with all fabrications, enough to become dispassionate, enough to be released.”

Renunciation

Janussoni: “I hold that there is no one who, subject to death, is not afraid or in terror of death.”

The Buddha: “There are those who, subject to death, are afraid and in terror of death. And there are those who, subject to death, are not afraid or in terror of death.”

“And who is the person who, subject to death, is afraid and in terror of death? There is the case of the person who has not abandoned passion, desire, fondness, thirst, fever, and craving for sensuality. When he comes down with a serious disease, the thought occurs to him, ‘O, those beloved sensual pleasures will be taken from me, and I will be taken from them!’ He grieves and is tormented, weeps, beats his breast, and grows delirious….

“Furthermore, there is the case of the person who has not abandoned passion, desire, fondness, thirst, fever, and craving for the body. When he is touched by a serious disease, the thought occurs to him, ‘O, my beloved body will be taken from me, and I will be taken from my body!’ He grieves and is tormented, weeps, beats his breast, and grows delirious….

“Furthermore, there is the case of the person who has not done what is good, has not done what is skillful, has not given protection to those in fear, and instead has done what is evil, savage, and cruel. When he comes down with a serious disease, the thought occurs to him, ‘… After death I am headed for the destination of those who have done what is evil, savage, and cruel.’ He grieves and is tormented, weeps, beats his breast, and grows delirious….

“Furthermore, there is the case of the person in doubt and perplexity, who has not arrived at certainty with regard to the True Dhamma. When he comes down with a serious disease, the thought occurs to him, ‘How doubtful and perplexed I am! I have not arrived at any certainty with regard to the True Dhamma!’ He grieves and is tormented, weeps, beats his breast, and grows delirious. This is another person who, subject to death, is afraid and in terror of death.

“And who is the person who is not afraid or in terror of death? There is the case of the person who has abandoned passion, desire, fondness, thirst, fever, and craving for sensuality…. who has abandoned passion, desire, fondness, thirst, fever, and craving for the body…. who has done what is good, what is skillful, has given protection to those in fear, and has not done what is evil, savage, or cruel…. who has no doubt or perplexity, who has arrived at certainty with regard to the True Dhamma. When he comes down with a serious disease… he doesn’t grieve, isn’t tormented, doesn’t weep or beat his breast or grow delirious. This is another person who, subject to death, is not afraid or in terror of death.”

Now at that time, Ven. Bhaddiya Kaligodha, on going to a forest, to the foot of a tree, or to an empty dwelling, would repeatedly exclaim, “What bliss! What bliss!” Many monks heard him… repeatedly exclaim, “What bliss! What bliss!” and on hearing him, the thought occurred to them, “There’s no doubt but that Ven. Bhaddiya Kaligodha doesn’t enjoy leading the holy life, for when he was a householder he knew the bliss of kingship, so that now, on recollecting that… he is repeatedly exclaiming, ‘What bliss! What bliss!’ They went to the Blessed One… and told him… and he told a certain monk, “Come, monk. In my name, call Bhaddiya, saying, ‘The Teacher calls you, my friend.’”

“Yes, lord,” the monk answered….

Then Ven. Bhaddiya went to where the Blessed One was staying and, on arrival, having bowed down, sat to one side. As he was sitting there, the Blessed One said to him, “Is it true, Bhaddiya that, on going to a forest, to the foot of a tree, or to an empty dwelling, you repeatedly exclaim, ‘What bliss! What bliss!’?”

“Yes, lord.”

“What do you have in mind that you repeatedly exclaim, ‘What bliss! What bliss!’?”

“Before, when I has a householder, maintaining the bliss of kingship, I had guards posted within and without the royal apartments, within and without the city, within and without the countryside. But even though I was thus guarded, thus protected, I dwelled in fear—agitated, distrustful, and afraid. But now, on going alone to a forest, to the foot of a tree, or to an empty dwelling, I dwell without fear, unagitated, confident, and unafraid—unconcerned, unruffled, my wants satisfied, with my mind like a wild deer. This is what I have in mind that I repeatedly exclaim, ‘What bliss! What bliss!’”

The Four Noble Truths

“Now this, monks, is the noble truth of stress: Birth is stressful, aging is stressful, death is stressful; sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, and despair are stressful; association with the unbeloved is stressful, separation from the loved is stressful, not getting what is wanted is stressful. In short, the five clinging-aggregates are stressful.

“And this, monks, is the noble truth of the origination of stress: the craving that makes for further becoming—accompanied by passion and delight, relishing now here and now there—i.e., craving for sensuality, craving for becoming, craving for non-becoming.

“And this, monks, is the noble truth of the cessation of stress: the remainderless fading and cessation, renunciation, relinquishment, release, and letting go of that very craving.

“And this, monks, is the noble truth of the way leading to the cessation of stress: precisely this noble eightfold path—right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration.

“Vision arose, insight arose, discernment arose, knowledge arose, illumination arose within me with regard to things never heard before: ‘This is the noble truth of stress’….‘ This noble truth of stress is to be comprehended’…. ‘This noble truth of stress has been comprehended’….

“‘This is the noble truth of the origination of stress’…. ‘This noble truth of the origination of stress is to be abandoned’….‘This noble truth of the origination of stress has been abandoned’….

“‘This is the noble truth of the cessation of stress’…. ‘This noble truth of the cessation of stress is to be directly experienced’…. ‘This noble truth of the cessation of stress has been directly experienced’….

“‘This is the noble truth of the way leading to the cessation of stress’…. ‘This noble truth of the way leading to the cessation of stress is to be developed’…. ‘This noble truth of the way leading to the cessation of stress has been developed.’

“And, monks, as long as this knowledge and vision of mine—with its three rounds and twelve permutations concerning these four noble truths as they have come to be—was not pure, I did not claim to have directly awakened to the unexcelled right self-awakening…. But as soon as this knowledge and vision of mine—with its three rounds and twelve permutations concerning these four noble truths as they have come to be—was truly pure, then did I claim to have directly awakened to the unexcelled right self-awakening…. The knowledge and vision arose in me: ‘Unprovoked is my release. This is the last birth. There is now no further becoming.”

The First Truth

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying at Varanasi, in the Game Refuge at Isipatana. There he addressed the group of five monks:

“Form, monks, is not-self. If form were self, this form (body) would not lend itself to dis-ease. It would be possible to say with regard to form, ‘May my form be like this; may it not be like that.’ But precisely because form is not-self, it lends itself to dis-ease. And it is not possible to say with regard to form, ‘May my form be like this; may it not be like that.’

“Feeling is not-self…. Perception is not-self…. Fabrications are not-self….

“Consciousness, monks, is not-self. If consciousness were self, this consciousness would not lend itself to dis-ease. It would be possible to say with regard to consciousness, ‘May my consciousness be like this; may it not be like that.’ But precisely because consciousness is not-self, it lends itself to dis-ease. And it is not possible to say with regard to consciousness, ‘May my form be like this; may it not be like that.’

“What do you think, monks: Is form constant or inconstant?”— “Inconstant, lord.”—“And whatever is inconstant: Is it easeful or stressful?”—“Stressful, lord.’—“And is it right to assume with regard to whatever is inconstant, stressful, subject to change, that ‘This is mine. This is my self. This is what I am’?”—“No, lord.”

‘….Is feeling constant or inconstant?… Is perception constant or inconstant?… Are fabrications constant or inconstant?…

“What do you think, monks: Is consciousness constant or inconstant?”—“Inconstant, lord.”—“And whatever is inconstant: Is it easeful or stressful?”—“Stressful, lord.’—“And is it right to assume with regard to whatever is inconstant, stressful, subject to change, that ‘This is mine. This is my self. This is what I am’?”—“No, lord.”

“Thus, monks, any form whatsoever—past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle, common or sublime, far or near: every form—is to be seen as it actually is with right discernment as: ‘This is not mine. This is not my self. This is not what I am.’

“Any feeling whatsoever…. Any perception whatsoever…. Any fabrications whatsoever….

“Any consciousness whatsoever—past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle, common or sublime, far or near: every consciousness—is to be seen as it actually is with right discernment as: ‘This is not mine. This is not my self. This is not what I am.’

“Seeing thus, the instructed disciple of the noble ones grows disenchanted with form, disenchanted with feeling, disenchanted with perception, disenchanted with fabrications, and disenchanted with consciousness. Disenchanted, he grows dispassionate. Through dispassion, he is released. With release, there is the knowledge, ‘Released.’ He discerns that ‘Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.’”

That is what the Blessed One said. Gratified, the group of five monks delighted at his words. And while this explanation was being given, the hearts of the group of five monks, through not clinging (not being sustained), were released from the mental effluents.

The Second and Third Truths

If this sticky, uncouth craving

overcomes you in the world,

your sorrows grow like wild grass

after rain.

If, in the world, you overcome

this sticky, uncouth craving,

sorrows roll off you,

like water beads off

a lotus.

If its root remains

undamaged and strong,

a tree, even if cut,

will grow back.

So too if latent craving

is not rooted out,

this suffering returns

again

  and

again.

“And what is the noble method that is rightly seen and rightly ferreted out by discernment? There is the case where a disciple of the noble ones notices:

“When this is, that is.

“From the arising of this comes the arising of that.

“When this isn’t, that isn’t.

“From the cessation of this comes the cessation of that.

“In other words:

“From ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrications.

“From fabrications as a requisite condition comes consciousness.

“From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-and-form.

“From name-and-form as a requisite condition come the six sense media.

“From the six sense media as a requisite condition comes contact.

“From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling.

“From feeling as a requisite condition comes craving.

“From craving as a requisite condition comes clinging/sustenance.

“From clinging/sustenance as a requisite condition comes becoming.

“From becoming as a requisite condition comes birth.

“From birth as a requisite condition, then aging and death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, and despair come into play. Such is the origination of this entire mass of stress and suffering.

“Now from the remainderless fading and cessation of that very ignorance comes the cessation of fabrications. From the cessation of fabrications comes the cessation of consciousness. From the cessation of consciousness comes the cessation of name-and-form. From the cessation of name-and-form comes the cessation of the six sense media. From the cessation of the six sense media comes the cessation of contact. From the cessation of contact comes the cessation of feeling. From the cessation of feeling comes the cessation of craving. From the cessation of craving comes the cessation of clinging. From the cessation of clinging comes the cessation of becoming. From the cessation of becoming comes the cessation of birth. From the cessation of birth, then aging and death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, and despair all cease. Such is the cessation of this entire mass of stress and suffering.

“This is the noble method that is rightly seen and rightly ferreted out by discernment.”

“Stress and suffering have birth as their prerequisite,

conviction has stress and suffering as its prerequisite,

joy has conviction as its prerequisite,

rapture has joy as its prerequisite,

serenity has rapture as its prerequisite,

pleasure has serenity as its prerequisite,

concentration has pleasure as its prerequisite,

knowledge and vision of things as they have come to be has concentration as its prerequisite,

disenchantment has knowledge and vision of things as they have come to be as its prerequisite,

dispassion has disenchantment as its prerequisite,

release has dispassion as its prerequisite,

knowledge of ending has release as its prerequisite.”

The Fourth Truth

“What is the noble eightfold path? Right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration.

“And what is right view? Knowledge with regard to stress, knowledge with regard to the origination of stress, knowledge with regard to the cessation of stress, and knowledge with regard to the way of practice leading to the cessation of stress: This is called right view.

“And what is right resolve? Being resolved on renunciation, on freedom from ill will, and on harmlessness: This is called right resolve.

“And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, and from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

“And what is right action? Abstaining from taking life, from stealing, and from uncelibate behavior: This is called right action.

“And what is right livelihood? There is the case where a disciple of the noble ones, having abandoned dishonest livelihood, keeps alive through right livelihood. This is called right livelihood.

“And what is right effort? There is the case where a monk generates desire, endeavors, arouses persistence, upholds and exerts his intent for the sake of the non-arising of evil, unskillful qualities that have not yet arisen… for the sake of the abandoning of evil, unskillful qualities that have arisen… for the sake of the arising of skillful qualities that have not yet arisen… (and) for the maintenance, non-confusion, increase, plenitude, development, and culmination of skillful qualities that have arisen. This is called right effort.”

“And what is right mindfulness? There is the case where a monk remains focused on the body in and of itself—ardent, alert, and mindful—putting aside greed and distress with reference to the world. He remains focused on feelings in and of themselves…the mind in and of itself… mental qualities in and of themselves—ardent, alert, and mindful—putting aside greed and distress with reference to the world. This is called right mindfulness.”

“And what is right concentration? There is the case where a monk… enters and remains in the first jhana… the second jhana… the third jhana… the fourth jhana: purity of equanimity and mindfulness, neither pleasure nor pain. This is called right concentration.”

Right View

Then Anathapindika the householder went to where the wanderers of other persuasions were staying. On arrival he greeted them courteously. After an exchange of friendly greetings and courtesies, he sat down to one side. As he was sitting there, the wanderers said to him, “Tell us, householder, what views the contemplative Gotama has.”

“Venerable sirs, I don’t know entirely what views the Blessed One has.”

“Well, well. So you don’t know entirely what views the contemplative Gotama has. Then tell us what views the monks have.”

“I don’t even know entirely what views the monks have.”

“So you don’t know entirely what views the contemplative Gotama has or even that the monks have. Then tell us what views you have.”

“It wouldn’t be difficult for me to expound to you what views I have. But please let the venerable ones expound each in line with his position, and then it won’t be difficult for me to expound to you what views I have.”

When this had been said, one of the wanderers said to Anathapindika the householder, “The cosmos is eternal. Only this is true; anything otherwise is worthless. This is the sort of view I have.”

Another wanderer said to Anathapindika, “The cosmos is not eternal. Only this is true; anything otherwise is worthless. This is the sort of view I have.”

Another wanderer said, “The cosmos is finite…”… “The cosmos is infinite…”… “The soul and the body are the same…”… “The soul is one thing and the body another…”… “After death a Tathagata exists…”… “After death a Tathagata does not exist…”… “After death a Tathagata both does and does not exist…”… “After death a Tathagata neither does nor does not exist. Only this is true; anything otherwise is worthless. This is the sort of view I have.”

When this had been said, Anathapindika the householder said to the wanderers, “As for the venerable one who says, ‘The cosmos is eternal. Only this is true; anything otherwise is worthless. This is the sort of view I have,’ his view arises from his own inappropriate attention or in dependence on the words of another. Now this view has been brought into being, is fabricated, willed, dependently originated. Whatever has been brought into being, is fabricated, willed, dependently originated, that is inconstant. Whatever is inconstant is stress. This venerable one thus adheres to that very stress, submits himself to that very stress. [Similarly for the other positions.]”

When this had been said, the wanderers said to Anathapindika the householder, “We have each and every one expounded to you in line with our own positions. Now tell us what views you have.”

“Whatever has been brought into being, is fabricated, willed, dependently originated, that is inconstant. Whatever is inconstant is stress. Whatever is stress is not me, is not what I am, is not my self. This is the sort of view I have.”

“So, householder, whatever has been brought into being, is fabricated, willed, dependently originated, that is inconstant. Whatever is inconstant is stress. You thus adhere to that very stress, submit yourself to that very stress.”

“Venerable sirs, whatever has been brought into being, is fabricated, willed, dependently originated, that is inconstant. Whatever is inconstant is stress. Whatever is stress is not me, is not what I am, is not my self. Having seen this well with right discernment as it has come to be, I also discern the higher escape from it as it has come to be.”

When this had been said, the wanderers fell silent, abashed, sitting with their shoulders drooping, their heads down, brooding, at a loss for words. Anathapindika the householder, perceiving that the wanderers were silent, abashed…at a loss for words, got up and left.

“There is the case where an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person… does not discern what ideas are fit for attention, or what ideas are unfit for attention. This being so, he does not attend to ideas fit for attention, and attends instead to ideas unfit for attention….This is how he attends inappropriately: ‘Was I in the past? Was I not in the past? What was I in the past? How was I in the past? Having been what, what was I in the past? Shall I be in the future? Shall I not be in the future? What shall I be in the future? How shall I be in the future? Having been what, what shall I be in the future?’ Or else he is inwardly perplexed about the immediate present: ‘Am I? Am I not? What am I? How am I? Where has this being come from? Where is it bound?’

“As this person attends inappropriately in this way, one of six kinds of view arises in him: The view I have a self arises in him as true and established, or the view I have no self…or the view It is by means of self that I perceive self…or the view It is by means of self that I perceive not-self…or the view It is by means of not-self that I perceive self arises in him as true and established, or else he has a view like this: This very self of mine—the knower that is sensitive here and there to the ripening of good and bad actions—is the self of mine that is constant, everlasting, eternal, not subject to change, and will endure as long as eternity. This is called a thicket of views, a wilderness of views, a contortion of views, a writhing of views, a fetter of views. Bound by a fetter of views, the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person is not freed from birth, aging, and death, from sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, and despair. He is not freed from stress, I say.

“The well-taught disciple of the noble ones… discerns what ideas are fit for attention, and what ideas are unfit for attention. This being so, he does not attend to ideas unfit for attention, and attends instead to ideas fit for attention…. He attends appropriately, This is stress…This is the origin of stress…This is the cessation of stress…This is the way leading to the cessation of stress. As he attends appropriately in this way, three fetters are abandoned in him: identity-view, doubt, and grasping at habits and practices.”

Kaccayana: “Lord, ‘Right view, right view,’ it is said. To what extent is there right view?”

The Buddha: “By and large, Kaccayana, this cosmos is supported by (takes as its object) a polarity, that of existence and non-existence. But when one sees the origination of the cosmos as it actually is with right discernment, ‘non-existence’ with reference to the cosmos does not occur to one. When one sees the cessation of the cosmos as it actually is with right discernment, ‘existence’ with reference to the cosmos does not occur to one.

“By and large, Kaccayana, this cosmos is in bondage to attachments, clingings (sustenances), and biases. But one such as this does not get involved with or cling to these attachments, clingings, fixations of awareness, biases, and latent tendencies; nor is he resolved on ‘my self.’ He has no uncertainty or doubt that, when there is arising, only stress is arising; and that when there is passing away, stress is passing away. In this, one’s knowledge is independent of others. It is to this extent, Kaccayana, that there is right view.”

Right Mindfulness and Concentration

Visakha: “Now what is concentration, what qualities are its themes, what qualities are its requisites, and what is its development?”

Sister Dhammadinna: “Singleness of mind is concentration; the four frames of reference [the activities of right mindfulness] are its themes; the four right exertions [right effort] are its requisites; and any cultivation, development, and pursuit of these qualities is its development.”

“Mindfulness of in-and-out breathing, when developed and pursued, brings the four frames of reference to their culmination. The four frames of reference, when developed and pursued, bring the seven factors for awakening to their culmination. The seven factors for awakening, when developed and pursued, bring clear knowing and release to their culmination.

“Now how is mindfulness of in-and-out breathing developed and pursued so as to bring the four frames of reference to their culmination?

“There is the case where a monk, having gone to the wilderness, to the shade of a tree, or to an empty building, sits down folding his legs crosswise, holding his body erect, and setting mindfulness to the fore. Always mindful, he breathes in; mindful he breathes out.

“(1) Breathing in long, he discerns that he is breathing in long; or breathing out long, he discerns that he is breathing out long. (2) Or breathing in short, he discerns that he is breathing in short; or breathing out short, he discerns that he is breathing out short. (3) He trains himself to breathe in sensitive to the entire body, and to breathe out sensitive to the entire body. (4) He trains himself to breathe in calming bodily fabrication, and to breathe out calming bodily fabrication.

“(5) He trains himself to breathe in sensitive to rapture, and to breathe out sensitive to rapture. (6) He trains himself to breathe in sensitive to pleasure, and to breathe out sensitive to pleasure. (7) He trains himself to breathe in sensitive to mental fabrication, and to breathe out sensitive to mental fabrication. (8) He trains himself to breathe in calming mental fabrication, and to breathe out calming mental fabrication.

“(9) He trains himself to breathe in sensitive to the mind, and to breathe out sensitive to the mind. (10) He trains himself to breathe in gladdening the mind, and to breathe out gladdening the mind. (11) He trains himself to breathe in steadying the mind, and to breathe out steadying the mind. (12) He trains himself to breathe in releasing the mind, and to breathe out releasing the mind.

“(13) He trains himself to breathe in focusing on inconstancy, and to breathe out focusing on inconstancy. (14) He trains himself to breathe in focusing on dispassion [literally, fading], and to breathe out focusing on dispassion. (15) He trains himself to breathe in focusing on cessation, and to breathe out focusing on cessation. (16) He trains himself to breathe in focusing on relinquishment, and to breathe out focusing on relinquishment.

“Now, on whatever occasion a monk breathing in long discerns that he is breathing in long; or breathing out long, discerns that he is breathing out long; or breathing in short, discerns that he is breathing in short; or breathing out short, discerns that he is breathing out short; trains himself to breathe in…and…out sensitive to the entire body; trains himself to breathe in…and…out calming bodily fabrication: On that occasion the monk remains focused on the body in and of itself—ardent, alert, and mindful—subduing greed and distress with reference to the world. I tell you, monks, that this—the in-and-out breath—is classed as a body among bodies, which is why the monk on that occasion remains focused on the body in and of itself—ardent, alert, and mindful—putting aside greed and distress with reference to the world.

“On whatever occasion a monk trains himself to breathe in…and… out sensitive to rapture; trains himself to breathe in…and…out sensitive to pleasure; trains himself to breathe in…and…out sensitive to mental fabrication; trains himself to breathe in…and…out calming mental fabrication: On that occasion the monk remains focused on feelings in and of themselves—ardent, alert, and mindful—subduing greed and distress with reference to the world. I tell you, monks, that this—close attention to in-and-out breaths—is classed as a feeling among feelings, which is why the monk on that occasion remains focused on feelings in and of themselves—ardent, alert, and mindful—putting aside greed and distress with reference to the world.

“On whatever occasion a monk trains himself to breathe in…and… out sensitive to the mind; trains himself to breathe in…and…out satisfying the mind; trains himself to breathe in…and…out steadying the mind; trains himself to breathe in…and…out releasing the mind: On that occasion the monk remains focused on the mind in and of itself—ardent, alert, and mindful—subduing greed and distress with reference to the world. I don’t say that there is mindfulness of in-and-out breathing in one of confused mindfulness and no alertness, which is why the monk on that occasion remains focused on the mind in and of itself—ardent, alert, and mindful—putting aside greed and distress with reference to the world.

“On whatever occasion a monk trains himself to breathe in…and…out focusing on inconstancy; trains himself to breathe in…and…out focusing on dispassion; trains himself to breathe in…and…out focusing on cessation; trains himself to breathe in…and…out focusing on relinquishing: On that occasion the monk remains focused on mental qualities in and of themselves—ardent, alert, and mindful—subduing greed and distress with reference to the world. He who sees clearly with discernment the abandoning of greed and distress is one who oversees with equanimity, which is why the monk on that occasion remains focused on mental qualities in and of themselves—ardent, alert, and mindful—putting aside greed and distress with reference to the world.

“This is how mindfulness of in-and-out breathing is developed and pursued so as to bring the four frames of reference to their culmination.

“And how are the four frames of reference developed and pursued so as to bring the seven factors for awakening to their culmination?

“(1) On whatever occasion the monk remains focused on the body in and of itself—ardent, alert, and mindful—putting aside greed and distress with reference to the world, on that occasion his mindfulness is steady and without lapse. When his mindfulness is steady and without lapse, then mindfulness as a factor for awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

“(2) Remaining mindful in this way, he examines, analyzes, and comes to a comprehension of that quality with discernment. When he remains mindful in this way, examining, analyzing, and coming to a comprehension of that quality with discernment, then analysis of qualities as a factor for awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

“(3) In one who examines, analyzes, and comes to a comprehension of that quality with discernment, unflagging persistence is aroused. When unflagging persistence is aroused in one who examines, analyzes, and comes to a comprehension of that quality with discernment, then persistence as a factor for awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

“(4) In one whose persistence is aroused, a rapture not-of-the-flesh arises. When a rapture not-of-the-flesh arises in one whose persistence is aroused, then rapture as a factor for awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

“(5) For one who is enraptured, the body grows calm and the mind grows calm. When the body and mind of an enraptured monk grow calm, then serenity as a factor for awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

“(6) For one who is at ease—his body calmed—the mind becomes concentrated. When the mind of one who is at ease—his body calmed—becomes concentrated, then concentration as a factor for awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

“(7) He oversees the mind thus concentrated with equanimity. When he oversees the mind thus concentrated with equanimity, equanimity as a factor for awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

“[Similarly with the other three frames of reference: feelings, mind, and mental qualities.]

“This is how the four frames of reference are developed and pursued so as to bring the seven factors for awakening to their culmination.

And how are the seven factors for awakening developed and pursued so as to bring clear knowing and release to their culmination? There is the case where a monk develops mindfulness as a factor for awakening dependent on seclusion… dispassion… cessation, resulting in relinquishment. He develops analysis of qualities as a factor for awakening… persistence as a factor for awakening… rapture as a factor for awakening… serenity as a factor for awakening… concentration as a factor for awakening… equanimity as a factor for awakening dependent on seclusion… dispassion… cessation, resulting in relinquishment.

“This is how the seven factors for awakening are developed and pursued so as to bring clear knowing and release to their culmination.”

“[On attaining the fourth level of jhana] there remains only equanimity: pure and bright, pliant, malleable and luminous. Just as if a skilled goldsmith or goldsmith’s apprentice were to prepare a furnace, heat up a crucible, and, taking gold with a pair of tongs, place it in the crucible. He would blow on it periodically, sprinkle water on it periodically, examine it periodically, so that the gold would become refined, well-refined, thoroughly refined, flawless, free from dross, pliant, malleable and luminous. Then whatever sort of ornament he had in mind—whether a belt, an earring, a necklace, or a gold chain—it would serve his purpose. In the same way, there remains only equanimity: pure and bright, pliant, malleable, and luminous. He [the meditator] discerns: ‘If I were to direct equanimity as pure and bright as this toward the dimension of the infinitude of space, I would develop the mind along those lines, and thus this equanimity of mine—thus supported, thus sustained—would last for a long time. [Similarly with the dimensions of the infinitude of consciousness, nothingness, and neither perception nor non-perception.]’

“He discerns that ‘If I were to direct equanimity as pure and bright as this toward the dimension of the infinitude of space and to develop the mind along those lines, that would be fabricated. [Similarly with the dimensions of the infinitude of consciousness, nothingness, and neither perception nor non-perception.]’ He neither fabricates nor wills for the sake of becoming or un-becoming. This being the case, he doesn’t cling to anything in the world. Not clinging, he isn’t agitated. Unagitated, he is totally unbound right within. He discerns that ‘Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.’”

Liberation

“There is that dimension where there is neither earth, nor water, nor fire, nor wind; neither sphere of the infinitude of space, nor sphere of the infinitude of consciousness, nor sphere of nothingness, nor sphere of neither perception nor non-perception; neither this world, nor the next world, nor sun, nor moon. And there, I say, there is neither coming, nor going, nor stasis; neither passing away nor arising: without stance, without foundation, without support [mental object]. This, just this, is the end of stress.”

Where water, earth, fire, and wind have no footing:

There the stars do not shine,

the sun is not visible,

the moon does not appear,

darkness is not found.

And when a sage, a worthy one, through sagacity

has known (this) for himself,

then from form and formless,

from pleasure and pain,

he is freed.

Aggivessana Vacchagotta: “But, Master Gotama the monk whose mind is thus released: Where does he reappear?’

The Buddha: “‘Reappear,’ Vaccha, doesn’t apply.”

“In that case, Master Gotama, he does not reappear.’

“‘Does not reappear,’ Vaccha, doesn’t apply.’

“…both does and does not reappear.”

“…doesn’t apply.”

“…Neither does nor does not reappear.”

“…doesn’t apply.”….

“At this point, Master Gotama, I am befuddled; at this point, confused. The modicum of clarity coming to me from your earlier conversation is now obscured.”

“Of course you’re befuddled, Vaccha. Of course you’re confused. Deep, Vaccha, is this phenomenon, hard to see, hard to realize, tranquil, refined, beyond the scope of conjecture, subtle, to-be-experienced by the wise. For those with other views, other satisfactions, other aims, other teachers, it is difficult to know. That being the case, I will now cross-question to you. Answer as you see fit. What do you think, Vaccha: If a fire were burning in front of you, would you know that, ‘This fire is burning in front of me’?”

“…yes…”

“And suppose someone were to ask you, Vaccha, ‘This fire burning in front of you, dependent on what is it burning?’ Thus asked, how would you reply?”

“…I would reply, ‘This fire burning in front of me is burning dependent on grass and timber as its sustenance.’”

“If the fire burning in front of you were to go out, would you know that ‘This fire burning in front of me has gone out’?”

“…yes…”

“And suppose someone were to ask you, ‘This fire that has gone out in front of you, in which direction from here has it gone? East? West? North? Or south?’ Thus asked, how would you reply?”

“That doesn’t apply, Venerable Gotama. Any fire burning dependent on a sustenance of grass and timber, being unnourished—from having consumed that sustenance and not being offered any other—is classified simply as ‘out.’”

“Even so, Vaccha, any form by which one describing the Tathagata would describe him: That the Tathagata has abandoned, its root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of existence, not destined for future arising. Freed from the classification of form, Vaccha, the Tathagata is deep, boundless, hard-to-fathom, like the sea. ‘Reappears’ doesn’t apply. ‘Does not reappear’ doesn’t apply. ‘Both does and does not reappear’ doesn’t apply. ‘Neither reappears nor does not reappear’ doesn’t apply.

“Any feeling…. Any perception…. Any fabrication….

“Any consciousness by which one describing the Tathagata would describe him: That the Tathagata has abandoned…. Freed from the classification of consciousness, Vaccha, the Tathagata is deep, boundless, hard-to-fathom, like the ocean.”