DN 29 the delightful discourse

It is to rephrase this one, so here it is.

long discourses 29

An Impressive Discourse
so i have heard. At one time the Buddha was staying in the land of the Sakyans in a stilt longhouse in a mango grove belonging to the Sakyan family named Vedhañña.

Now at that time the Nigaṇṭha Nātaputta had recently passed away at Pāvā. With his passing the Jain ascetics split, dividing into two factions, arguing, quarreling, and fighting, continually wounding each other with barbed words: “You don’t understand this teaching and training. I understand this teaching and training. What, you understand this teaching and training? You’re practicing wrong. I’m practicing right. I stay on topic, you don’t. You said last what you should have said first. You said first what you should have said last. What you’ve thought so much about has been disproved. Your doctrine is refuted. Go on, save your doctrine! You’re trapped; get yourself out of this—if you can!” You’d think there was nothing but slaughter going on among the Jain ascetics. And the Nigaṇṭha Nātaputta’s white-clothed lay disciples were disillusioned, dismayed, and disappointed in the Jain ascetics. They were equally disappointed with a teaching and training so poorly explained and poorly propounded, not emancipating, not leading to peace, proclaimed by someone who is not a fully awakened Buddha, with broken monument and without a refuge.

And then, after completing the rainy season residence near Pāvā, the novice Cunda went to see Venerable Ānanda at Sāma village. He bowed, sat down to one side, and told him what had happened.

Ānanda said to him: “Reverend Cunda, we should see the Buddha about this matter. Come, let’s go to the Buddha and tell him about this.” “Yes, sir,” replied Cunda.

Then Ānanda and Cunda went to the Buddha, bowed, sat down to one side, and told him what had happened.

1. The Teaching of the Unawakened
“That’s what happens, Cunda, when a teaching and training is poorly explained and poorly propounded, not emancipating, not leading to peace, proclaimed by someone who is not a fully awakened Buddha. Take the case where a teacher is not awakened, and the teaching is poorly explained and poorly propounded, not emancipating, not leading to peace, proclaimed by someone who is not a fully awakened Buddha. A disciple in that teaching does not practice in line with the teachings, does not practice following that procedure, does not live in line with the teaching. They proceed having turned away from that teaching. You should say this to them: ‘You’re fortunate, reverend, you’re so very fortunate! For your teacher is not awakened, and their teaching is poorly explained and poorly propounded, not emancipating, not leading to peace, proclaimed by someone who is not a fully awakened Buddha. But you don’t practice in line with that teaching, you don’t practice following that procedure, you don’t live in line with the teaching. You proceed having turned away from that teaching.’ In such a case the teacher and the teaching are to blame, but the disciple deserves praise. Suppose someone was to say to such a disciple: ‘Come on, venerable, practice as taught and pointed out by your teacher.’ The one who encourages, the one who they encourage, and the one who practices accordingly all make much bad karma. Why is that? It’s because that teaching and training is poorly explained and poorly propounded, not emancipating, not leading to peace, proclaimed by someone who is not a fully awakened Buddha.

Take the case where a teacher is not awakened, and the teaching is poorly explained and poorly propounded, not emancipating, not leading to peace, proclaimed by someone who is not a fully awakened Buddha. A disciple in that teaching practices in line with the teachings, practices following that procedure, lives in line with the teaching. They proceed having undertaken that teaching. You should say this to them: ‘It’s your loss, reverend, it’s your misfortune! For your teacher is not awakened, and their teaching is poorly explained and poorly propounded, not emancipating, not leading to peace, proclaimed by someone who is not a fully awakened Buddha. And you practice in line with that teaching, you practice following that procedure, you live in line with the teaching. You proceed having undertaken that teaching.’ In such a case the teacher, the teaching, and the disciple are all to blame. Suppose someone was to say to such a disciple: ‘Clearly the venerable is practicing following the method and will succeed in completing that method.’ The one who praises, the one who they praise, and the one who, being praised, rouses up even more energy all make much bad karma. Why is that? It’s because that teaching and training is poorly explained and poorly propounded, not emancipating, not leading to peace, proclaimed by someone who is not a fully awakened Buddha.

2. The Teaching of the Awakened
Take the case where a teacher is awakened, and the teaching is well explained and well propounded, emancipating, leading to peace, proclaimed by someone who is a fully awakened Buddha. A disciple in that teaching does not practice in line with the teachings, does not practice following that procedure, does not live in line with the teaching. They proceed having turned away from that teaching. You should say this to them: ‘It’s your loss, reverend, it’s your misfortune! For your teacher is awakened, and their teaching is well explained and well propounded, emancipating, leading to peace, proclaimed by someone who is a fully awakened Buddha. But you don’t practice in line with that teaching, you don’t practice following that procedure, you don’t live in line with the teaching. You proceed having turned away from that teaching.’ In such a case the teacher and the teaching deserve praise, but the disciple is to blame. Suppose someone was to say to such a disciple: ‘Come on, venerable, practice as taught and pointed out by your teacher.’ The one who encourages, the one who they encourage, and the one who practices accordingly all make much merit. Why is that? It’s because that teaching and training is well explained and well propounded, emancipating, leading to peace, proclaimed by someone who is a fully awakened Buddha.

Take the case where a teacher is awakened, and the teaching is well explained and well propounded, emancipating, leading to peace, proclaimed by someone who is a fully awakened Buddha. A disciple in that teaching practices in line with the teachings, practices following that procedure, lives in line with the teaching. They proceed having undertaken that teaching. You should say this to them: ‘You’re fortunate, reverend, you’re so very fortunate! For your teacher is awakened, and their teaching is well explained and well propounded, emancipating, leading to peace, proclaimed by someone who is a fully awakened Buddha. And you practice in line with that teaching, you practice following that procedure, you live in line with the teaching. You proceed having undertaken that teaching.’ In such a case the teacher, the teaching, and the disciple all deserve praise. Suppose someone was to say to such a disciple: ‘Clearly the venerable is practicing following the method and will succeed in completing that method.’ The one who praises, the one who they praise, and the one who, being praised, rouses up even more energy all make much merit. Why is that? It’s because that teaching and training is well explained and well propounded, emancipating, leading to peace, proclaimed by someone who is a fully awakened Buddha.

3. When Disciples Have Regrets
Take the case where a teacher arises in the world who is perfected, a fully awakened Buddha. The teaching is well explained and well propounded, emancipating, leading to peace, proclaimed by someone who is fully awakened. But the disciples haven’t inquired about the meaning of that good teaching. And the spiritual practice that’s entirely full and pure has not been disclosed and revealed to them with all its collected sayings, with its demonstrable basis, well proclaimed wherever there are gods and humans. And then their teacher passes away. When such a teacher has passed away the disciples are tormented by regrets. Why is that? They think: ‘Our teacher was perfected, a fully awakened Buddha. His teaching was well explained, but we didn’t inquire about the meaning, and the spiritual practice was not fully disclosed to us. And then our teacher passed away.’ When such a teacher has passed away the disciples are tormented by regrets.

4. When Disciples Have No Regrets
Take the case where a teacher arises in the world who is perfected, a fully awakened Buddha. The teaching is well explained and well propounded, emancipating, leading to peace, proclaimed by someone who is fully awakened. The disciples have inquired about the meaning of that good teaching. And the spiritual practice that’s entirely full and pure has been disclosed and revealed to them with all its collected sayings, with its demonstrable basis, well proclaimed wherever there are gods and humans. And then their teacher passes away. When such a teacher has passed away the disciples are free of regrets. Why is that? They think: ‘Our teacher was perfected, a fully awakened Buddha. His teaching was well explained, we inquired about the meaning, and the spiritual practice was fully disclosed to us. And then our teacher passed away.’ When such a teacher has passed away the disciples are free of regrets.

5. On the Incomplete Spiritual Path, Etc.
Now suppose, Cunda, that a spiritual path possesses those factors. But the teacher is not senior, long standing, long gone forth, advanced in years, and reached the final stage of life. Then that spiritual path is incomplete in that respect.

But when a spiritual path possesses those factors and the teacher is senior, then that spiritual path is complete in that respect.

Now suppose that a spiritual path possesses those factors and the teacher is senior. But there are no senior monk disciples who are competent, educated, assured, have attained sanctuary, who can rightly explain the true teaching, and who can legitimately and completely refute the doctrines of others that come up, and teach with a demonstrable basis. Then that spiritual path is incomplete in that respect.

But when a spiritual path possesses those factors and the teacher is senior and there are competent senior monks, then that spiritual path is complete in that respect.

Now suppose that a spiritual path possesses those factors and the teacher is senior and there are competent senior monks. But there are no competent middle monks, junior monks, senior nuns, middle nuns, junior nuns, celibate white-clothed laymen, white-clothed laymen enjoying sensual pleasures, celibate white-clothed laywomen, white-clothed laywomen enjoying sensual pleasures. … There are white-clothed laywomen enjoying sensual pleasures, but the spiritual path is not successful and prosperous, extensive, popular, widespread, and well proclaimed wherever there are gods and humans … the spiritual path is successful and prosperous, extensive, popular, widespread, and well proclaimed wherever there are gods and humans, but it has not reached the peak of material possessions and fame. Then that spiritual path is incomplete in that respect.

But when a spiritual path possesses those factors and the teacher is senior and there are competent senior monks, middle monks, junior monks, senior nuns, middle nuns, junior nuns, celibate laymen, laymen enjoying sensual pleasures, celibate laywomen, laywomen enjoying sensual pleasures, and the spiritual path is successful and prosperous, extensive, popular, widespread, and well proclaimed wherever there are gods and humans, and it has reached the peak of material possessions and fame, then that spiritual path is complete in that respect.

I, Cunda, am a teacher who has arisen in the world today, perfected and fully awakened. The teaching is well explained and well propounded, emancipating, leading to peace, proclaimed by someone who is fully awakened. My disciples have inquired about the meaning of that good teaching. And the spiritual practice that’s entirely full and pure has been disclosed and revealed to them with all its collected sayings, with its demonstrable basis, well proclaimed wherever there are gods and humans. I am a teacher today who is senior, long standing, long gone forth, advanced in years, and have reached the final stage of life.

I have today disciples who are competent senior monks, middle monks, junior monks, senior nuns, middle nuns, junior nuns, celibate laymen, laymen enjoying sensual pleasures, celibate laywomen, and laywomen enjoying sensual pleasures. Today my spiritual life is successful and prosperous, extensive, popular, widespread, and well proclaimed wherever there are gods and humans.

Of all the teachers in the world today, Cunda, I don’t see even a single one who has reached the peak of material possessions and fame like me. Of all the spiritual communities and groups in the world today, Cunda, I don’t see even a single one who has reached the pinnacle of material possessions and fame like the mendicant Saṅgha. And if there’s any spiritual path of which it may be rightly said that it’s endowed with all good qualities, complete in all good qualities, neither too little nor too much, well explained, whole, full, and well propounded, it’s of this spiritual path that this should be said.

Uddaka, son of Rāma, used to say: ‘Seeing, one does not see.’ But seeing what does one not see? You can see the blade of a well-sharpened razor, but not the edge. Thus it is said: ‘Seeing, one does not see.’ But that saying of Uddaka’s is low, crude, ordinary, ignoble, and pointless, as it’s only concerning a razor. If there’s anything of which it may be rightly said: ‘Seeing, one does not see,’ it’s of this that it should be said. Seeing what does one not see? One sees this: a spiritual path endowed with all good qualities, complete in all good qualities, neither too little nor too much, well explained, whole, full, and well propounded. One does not see this: anything that, were it to be removed, would make it purer. One does not see this: anything that, were it to be added, would make it more complete. Thus it is rightly said: ‘Seeing, one does not see.’

6. Teachings Should be Recited in Concert
So, Cunda, you should all come together and recite in concert, without disputing, those things I have taught you from my direct knowledge, comparing meaning with meaning and phrasing with phrasing, so that this spiritual path may last for a long time. That would be for the welfare and happiness of the people, for the benefit, welfare, and happiness of gods and humans. And what are those things I have taught from my direct knowledge? They are the four kinds of mindfulness meditation, the four right efforts, the four bases of psychic power, the five faculties, the five powers, the seven awakening factors, and the noble eightfold path. These are the things I have taught from my own direct knowledge.

7. Reaching Agreement
Suppose one of those spiritual companions who is training in harmony and mutual appreciation, without fighting, were to recite the teaching in the Saṅgha. Now, you might think: ‘This venerable misconstrues the meaning and mistakes the phrasing.’ You should neither approve nor dismiss them, but say: ‘Reverend, if this is the meaning, the phrasing may either be this or that: which is more fitting? And if this is the phrasing, the meaning may be either this or that: which is more fitting?’ Suppose they reply: ‘This phrasing fits the meaning better than that. And this meaning fits the phrasing better than that.’ Without flattering or rebuking them, you should carefully convince them by examining that meaning and that phrasing.

Suppose another spiritual companion were to recite the teaching in the Saṅgha. Now, you might think: ‘This venerable misconstrues the meaning but gets the phrasing right.’ You should neither approve nor dismiss them, but say: ‘Reverend, if this is the phrasing, the meaning may be either this or that: which is more fitting?’ Suppose they reply: ‘This meaning fits the phrasing better than that.’ Without flattering or rebuking, you should carefully convince them by examining that meaning.

Suppose another spiritual companion were to recite the teaching in the Saṅgha. Now, you might think: ‘This venerable construes the meaning correctly but mistakes the phrasing.’ You should neither approve nor dismiss them, but say: ‘Reverend, if this is the meaning, the phrasing may be either this or that: which is more fitting?’ Suppose they reply: ‘This phrasing fits the meaning better than that.’ Without flattering or rebuking, you should carefully convince them by examining that phrasing.

Suppose another spiritual companion were to recite the teaching in the Saṅgha. Now, you might think: ‘This venerable construes the meaning correctly and gets the phrasing right.’ Saying ‘Good!’ you should applaud and cheer that mendicant’s statement, and then say to them: ‘We are fortunate, reverend, so very fortunate to see a venerable such as yourself, so well-versed in the meaning and the phrasing, as one of our spiritual companions!’

8. The Reasons for Allowing Requisites
Cunda, I do not teach you solely for restraining defilements that affect the present life. Nor do I teach solely for protecting against defilements that affect lives to come. I teach both for restraining defilements that affect the present life and protecting against defilements that affect lives to come. And that’s why I have allowed robes for you that suffice only for the sake of warding off cold and heat; for warding off the touch of flies, mosquitoes, wind, sun, and reptiles; and for covering the private parts. I have allowed alms-food for you that suffices only to continue and sustain this body, avoid harm, and support spiritual practice; so that you will put an end to old discomfort and not give rise to new discomfort, and will keep on living blamelessly and at ease. I have allowed lodgings for you that suffice only for the sake of warding off cold and heat; for warding off the touch of flies, mosquitoes, wind, sun, and reptiles; and to shelter from harsh weather and enjoy retreat. I have allowed medicines and supplies for the sick for you that suffice only for the sake of warding off the pains of illness and to promote good health.

9. Indulgence in Pleasure
It’s possible that wanderers who follow other paths might say: ‘The ascetics who follow the Sakyan live indulging in pleasure.’ You should say to them: ‘What is that indulgence in pleasure? For there are many different kinds of indulgence in pleasure.’

These four kinds of indulgence in pleasure, Cunda, are low, crude, ordinary, ignoble, and pointless. They don’t lead to disillusionment, dispassion, cessation, peace, insight, awakening, and extinguishment. What four?

It’s when some fool makes themselves happy and pleased by killing living creatures. This is the first kind of indulgence in pleasure.

Furthermore, someone makes themselves happy and pleased by theft. This is the second kind of indulgence in pleasure.

Furthermore, someone makes themselves happy and pleased by lying. This is the third kind of indulgence in pleasure.

Furthermore, someone amuses themselves, supplied and provided with the five kinds of sensual stimulation. This is the fourth kind of indulgence in pleasure.

These are the four kinds of indulgence in pleasure that are low, crude, ordinary, ignoble, and pointless. They don’t lead to disillusionment, dispassion, cessation, peace, insight, awakening, and extinguishment.

It’s possible that wanderers who follow other paths might say: ‘The ascetics who follow the Sakyan live indulging in pleasure in these four ways.’ They should be told, ‘Not so!’ It isn’t right to say that about you; it misrepresents you with an untruth.

These four kinds of indulgence in pleasure, when developed and cultivated, lead solely to disillusionment, dispassion, cessation, peace, insight, awakening, and extinguishment. What four?

It’s when a mendicant, quite secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unskillful qualities, enters and remains in the first absorption, which has the rapture and bliss born of seclusion, while placing the mind and keeping it connected. This is the first kind of indulgence in pleasure.

Furthermore, as the placing of the mind and keeping it connected are stilled, a mendicant enters and remains in the second absorption. It has the rapture and bliss born of immersion, with internal clarity and confidence, and unified mind, without placing the mind and keeping it connected. This is the second kind of indulgence in pleasure.

Furthermore, with the fading away of rapture, a mendicant enters and remains in the third absorption. They meditate with equanimity, mindful and aware, personally experiencing the bliss of which the noble ones declare, ‘Equanimous and mindful, one meditates in bliss.’ This is the third kind of indulgence in pleasure.

Furthermore, giving up pleasure and pain, and ending former happiness and sadness, a mendicant enters and remains in the fourth absorption. It is without pleasure or pain, with pure equanimity and mindfulness. This is the fourth kind of indulgence in pleasure.

These are the four kinds of indulgence in pleasure which, when developed and cultivated, lead solely to disillusionment, dispassion, cessation, peace, insight, awakening, and extinguishment.

It’s possible that wanderers who follow other paths might say: ‘The ascetics who follow the Sakyan live indulging in pleasure in these four ways.’ They should be told, ‘Exactly so!’ It’s right to say that about you; it doesn’t misrepresent you with an untruth.

10. The Benefits of Indulgence in Pleasure
It’s possible that wanderers who follow other paths might say: ‘How many fruits and benefits may be expected by those who live indulging in pleasure in these four ways?’ You should say to them: ‘Four benefits may be expected by those who live indulging in pleasure in these four ways. What four? Firstly, with the ending of three fetters a mendicant becomes a stream-enterer, not liable to be reborn in the underworld, bound for awakening. This is the first fruit and benefit. Furthermore, a mendicant—with the ending of three fetters, and the weakening of greed, hate, and delusion—becomes a once-returner. They come back to this world once only, then make an end of suffering. This is the second fruit and benefit. Furthermore, with the ending of the five lower fetters, a mendicant is reborn spontaneously and will become extinguished there, not liable to return from that world. This is the third fruit and benefit. Furthermore, a mendicant realizes the undefiled freedom of heart and freedom by wisdom in this very life, and lives having realized it with their own insight due to the ending of defilements. This is the fourth fruit and benefit. These four benefits may be expected by those who live indulging in pleasure in these four ways.’

11. Things Impossible for the Perfected
It’s possible that wanderers who follow other paths might say: ‘The ascetics who follow the Sakyan are inconsistent.’ You should say to them: ‘Reverends, these things have been taught and pointed out for his disciples by the Blessed One, who knows and sees, the perfected one, the fully awakened Buddha, not to be transgressed so long as life lasts. Suppose there was a boundary pillar or an iron pillar with deep foundations, firmly embedded, imperturbable and unshakable. In the same way, these things have been taught and pointed out for his disciples by the Blessed One, who knows and sees, the perfected one, the fully awakened Buddha, not to be transgressed so long as life lasts. A mendicant who is perfected—with defilements ended, who has completed the spiritual journey, done what had to be done, laid down the burden, achieved their own true goal, utterly ended the fetters of rebirth, and is rightly freed through enlightenment—can’t transgress in nine respects. A mendicant with defilements ended can’t deliberately take the life of a living creature, take something with the intention to steal, have sex, tell a deliberate lie, or store up goods for their own enjoyment like they did as a lay person. And they can’t make decisions prejudiced by favoritism, hostility, stupidity, or cowardice. A mendicant who is perfected can’t transgress in these nine respects.’

12. Questions and Answers
It’s possible that wanderers who follow other paths might say: ‘The ascetic Gotama demonstrates boundless knowledge and vision of the past, but not of the future. What’s up with that?’ Those wanderers, like incompetent fools, seem to imagine that one kind of knowledge and vision can be demonstrated by means of another kind of knowledge and vision. Regarding the past, the Realized One has knowledge stemming from memory. He recollects as far as he wants. Regarding the future, the Realized One has the knowledge born of awakening: ‘This is my last rebirth. Now there are no more future lives.’ If a question about the past is untrue, false, and pointless, the Realized One does not reply. If a question about the past is true and substantive, but pointless, he does not reply. If a question about the past is true, substantive, and beneficial, he knows the right time to reply. And the Realized One replies to questions about the future or the present in the same way.

And so the Realized One has speech that’s well-timed, true, meaningful, in line with the teaching and training. That’s why he’s called the ‘Realized One’. In this world—with its gods, Māras, and Brahmās, this population with its ascetics and brahmins, its gods and humans—whatever is seen, heard, thought, known, sought, and explored by the mind, all that has been understood by the Realized One. That’s why he’s called the ‘Realized One’. From the night when the Realized One understands the supreme perfect awakening until the night he becomes fully extinguished—through the natural principle of extinguishment, without anything left over—everything he speaks, says, and expresses is real, not otherwise. That’s why he’s called the ‘Realized One’. The Realized One does as he says, and says as he does. Since this is so, that’s why he’s called the ‘Realized One’. In this world—with its gods, Māras and Brahmās, this population with its ascetics and brahmins, gods and humans—the Realized One is the undefeated, the champion, the universal seer, the wielder of power.

13. The Undeclared Points
It’s possible that wanderers who follow other paths might say: ‘Is this your view: “A Realized One exists after death. This is the only truth, everything else is wrong”?’ You should say to them: ‘Reverend, this has not been declared by the Buddha.’

The wanderers might say: ‘Then is this your view: “A Realized One doesn’t exist after death. This is the only truth, everything else is wrong”?’ You should say to them: ‘This too has not been declared by the Buddha.’

The wanderers might say: ‘Then is this your view: “A Realized One both exists and doesn’t exist after death. This is the only truth, everything else is wrong”?’ You should say to them: ‘This too has not been declared by the Buddha.’

The wanderers might say: ‘Then is this your view: “A Realized One neither exists nor doesn’t exist after death. This is the only truth, everything else is wrong”?’ You should say to them: ‘This too has not been declared by the Buddha.’

The wanderers might say: ‘But why has this not been declared by the ascetic Gotama?’ You should say to them: ‘Because it’s not beneficial or relevant to the fundamentals of the spiritual life. It doesn’t lead to disillusionment, dispassion, cessation, peace, insight, awakening, and extinguishment. That’s why it hasn’t been declared by the Buddha.’

14. The Declared Points
It’s possible that wanderers who follow other paths might say: ‘But what has been declared by the ascetic Gotama?’ You should say to them: ‘What has been declared by the Buddha is this: “This is suffering”—“This is the origin of suffering”—“This is the cessation of suffering”—“This is the practice that leads to the cessation of suffering.”’

The wanderers might say: ‘But why has this been declared by the ascetic Gotama?’ You should say to them: ‘Because it’s beneficial and relevant to the fundamentals of the spiritual life. It leads to disillusionment, dispassion, cessation, peace, insight, awakening, and extinguishment. That’s why it has been declared by the Buddha.’

15. Views of the Past
Cunda, I have explained to you as they should be explained the views that some rely on regarding the past. Shall I explain them to you in the wrong way? I have explained to you as they should be explained the views that some rely on regarding the future. Shall I explain them to you in the wrong way? What are the views that some rely on regarding the past? There are some ascetics and brahmins who have this doctrine and view: ‘The self and the cosmos are eternal. This is the only truth, everything else is wrong.’ There are some ascetics and brahmins who have this doctrine and view: ‘The self and the cosmos are not eternal, or both eternal and not eternal, or neither eternal nor not eternal. The self and the cosmos are made by oneself, or made by another, or made by both oneself and another, or they have arisen by chance, not made by oneself or another. Pleasure and pain are eternal, or not eternal, or both eternal and not eternal, or neither eternal nor not eternal. Pleasure and pain are made by oneself, or made by another, or made by both oneself and another, or they have arisen by chance, not made by oneself or another. This is the only truth, everything else is wrong.’

Regarding this, I go up to the ascetics and brahmins whose view is that the self and the cosmos are eternal, and say: ‘Reverends, is this what you say: “The self and the cosmos are eternal”?’ But when they say: ‘Yes! This is the only truth, everything else is wrong,’ I don’t acknowledge that. Why is that? Because there are beings who have different opinions on this topic. I don’t see any such expositions that are equal to my own, still less superior. Rather, I am the one who is superior when it comes to the higher exposition.

Regarding this, I go up to the ascetics and brahmins who assert all the other views as described above. And in each case, I don’t acknowledge that. Why is that? Because there are beings who have different opinions on this topic. I don’t see any such expositions that are equal to my own, still less superior. Rather, I am the one who is superior when it comes to the higher exposition. These are the views that some rely on regarding the past.

16. Views of the Future
What are the views that some rely on regarding the future? There are some ascetics and brahmins who have this doctrine and view: ‘The self is physical and sound after death, or it is non-physical, or both physical and non-physical, or neither physical nor non-physical, or percipient, or non-percipient, or neither percipient nor non-percipient, or the self is annihilated and destroyed when the body breaks up, and doesn’t exist after death. This is the only truth, everything else is wrong.’ Regarding this, I go up to the ascetics and brahmins whose view is that the self is physical and sound after death, and say: ‘Reverends, is this what you say: “The self is physical and sound after death”?’ But when they say: ‘Yes! This is the only truth, other ideas are silly,’ I don’t acknowledge that. Why is that? Because there are beings who have different opinions on this topic. I don’t see any such expositions that are equal to my own, still less superior. Rather, I am the one who is superior when it comes to the higher exposition.

Regarding this, I go up to the ascetics and brahmins who assert all the other views as described above. And in each case, I don’t acknowledge that. Why is that? Because there are beings who have different opinions on this topic. I don’t see any such expositions that are equal to my own, still less superior. Rather, I am the one who is superior when it comes to the higher exposition. These are the views that some rely on regarding the future, which I have explained to you as they should be explained. Shall I explain them to you in the wrong way?

I have taught and pointed out the four kinds of mindfulness meditation for giving up and going beyond all these views of the past and the future. What four? It’s when a mendicant meditates by observing an aspect of the body—keen, aware, and mindful, rid of desire and aversion for the world. They meditate observing an aspect of feelings … mind … principles—keen, aware, and mindful, rid of desire and aversion for the world. These are the four kinds of mindfulness meditation that I have taught for giving up and going beyond all these views of the past and the future.”

Now at that time Venerable Upavāṇa was standing behind the Buddha fanning him. He said to the Buddha: “It’s incredible, sir, it’s amazing! This exposition of the teaching is impressive, sir, it is very impressive. Sir, what is the name of this exposition of the teaching?” “Well, Upavāṇa, you may remember this exposition of the teaching as ‘The Impressive Discourse’.”

That is what the Buddha said. Satisfied, Venerable Upavāṇa was happy with what the Buddha said.

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AN 1.74– 81 (second half of) Good Friendship

AN 1,74,75

Wise attention is the key to arise and then to develop the awakening factors. That’s the most important key. Also, don’t fall into negligence so that unwise attention prevents the arisen awakening factors to fully develop!

AN 1,76-81

In this game of life, people get upset over loss of relatives, wealth or fame, but that’s a small thing. The important thing is not to lose wisdom, but to grow in it. That’s how you should train.

74

“Mendicants, I do not see a single thing that prevents the awakening factors from arising, or, if they’ve already arisen, prevents them from being fully developed like improper attention. When you attend improperly, the awakening factors don’t arise, or, if they’ve already arisen, they’re not fully developed.”

75

“Mendicants, I do not see a single thing that gives rise to the awakening factors, or, if they’ve already arisen, fully develops them like proper attention. When you attend properly, the awakening factors arise, or, if they’ve already arisen, they’re fully developed.”

76

“Loss of relatives, mendicants, is a small thing. Wisdom is the worst thing to lose.”

77

“Growth of relatives, mendicants, is a small thing. Wisdom is the best thing to grow. So you should train like this: ‘We will grow in wisdom.’ That’s how you should train.”

78

“Loss of wealth, mendicants, is a small thing. Wisdom is the worst thing to lose.”

79

“Growth of wealth, mendicants, is a small thing. Wisdom is the best thing to grow. So you should train like this: ‘We will grow in wisdom.’ That’s how you should train.”

80

“Loss of fame, mendicants, is a small thing. Wisdom is the worst thing to lose.”

81

“Growth of fame, mendicants, is a small thing. Wisdom is the best thing to grow. So you should train like this: ‘We will grow in wisdom.’ That’s how you should train.”

 

AN 1.51–73 Luminous Accharāsaṅghāta Vagga & Arousal of Energy Vīriyārambhādi Vagga

AN 1,47-52

Uneducated ordinary folks do not truly understand this, they have no development of the mind.

Educated noble students truly understand this, they have development of mind.

Commentary: Basically, Jhana= development of mind.

AN 1,53-55.PNG

There’s this awesome state of radiant mind, freed from corruption called the Jhanas. If anyone were to be able to pursue, develop and attend to it even for just a moment, it’s worth all the free food others donate to them. And it’s also a cool thing to use loving kindness as the object.

AN 1,56-73

Skillful or unskillful qualities arises preceded by the mind.
To cultivate skillful qualities, here are some of the strategies:

  1. Diligence
  2. Arousing energy
  3. Have few wishes
  4. Be contented
  5. Have wise or proper attention
  6. Have clear comprehension or situational awareness
  7. Have good friends.
  8. Pursuing good habits, not bad habits.

Do the opposite and you’re giving rise to unskillful qualities.

numbered discourses 1

6. finger snap

51

“This mind, mendicants, is radiant. But it is corrupted by passing corruptions. An uneducated ordinary person does not truly understand this. So I say that the uneducated ordinary person has no development of the mind.”

52

“This mind, mendicants, is radiant. And it is freed from passing corruptions. An educated noble disciple truly understands this. So I say that the educated noble disciple has development of the mind.”

53

“If, mendicants, a mendicant cultivates a mind of love even as long as a finger snap, they’re called a mendicant who does not lack absorption, who follows the Teacher’s instructions, who responds to advice, and who does not eat the country’s alms in vain. How much more so those who make much of it!”

54

“If, mendicants, a mendicant develops a mind of love even as long as a finger snap, they’re called a mendicant who does not lack absorption, who follows the Teacher’s instructions, who responds to advice, and who does not eat the country’s alms in vain. How much more so those who make much of it!”

55

“If, mendicants, a mendicant focuses on a mind of love even as long as a finger snap, they’re called a mendicant who does not lack absorption, who follows the Teacher’s instructions, who responds to advice, and who does not eat the country’s alms in vain. How much more so those who make much of it!”

56

“Mendicants, whatever qualities are unskillful, part of the unskillful, on the side of the unskillful, all of them are preceded by the mind. Mind arises first, and unskillful qualities follow right behind.”

57

“Mendicants, whatever qualities are skillful, part of the skillful, on the side of the skillful, all of them are preceded by the mind. Mind arises first, and skillful qualities follow right behind.”

58

“Mendicants, I do not see a single thing that gives rise to unskillful qualities, or makes skillful qualities decline like negligence. When you’re negligent, unskillful qualities arise and skillful qualities decline.”

59

“Mendicants, I do not see a single thing that gives rise to skillful qualities, or makes unskillful qualities decline like diligence. When you’re diligent, skillful qualities arise and unskillful qualities decline.”

60

“Mendicants, I do not see a single thing that gives rise to unskillful qualities, or makes skillful qualities decline like laziness. When you’re lazy, unskillful qualities arise and skillful qualities decline.”

numbered discourses 1

7. arousing energy

61

“Mendicants, I do not see a single thing that gives rise to skillful qualities, or makes unskillful qualities decline like arousing energy. When you’re energetic, skillful qualities arise and unskillful qualities decline.”

62

“Mendicants, I do not see a single thing that gives rise to unskillful qualities, or makes skillful qualities decline like having many wishes. When you have many wishes, unskillful qualities arise and skillful qualities decline.”

63

“Mendicants, I do not see a single thing that gives rise to skillful qualities, or makes unskillful qualities decline like having few wishes. When you have few wishes, skillful qualities arise and unskillful qualities decline.”

64

“Mendicants, I do not see a single thing that gives rise to unskillful qualities, or makes skillful qualities decline like lack of contentment. When you lack contentment, unskillful qualities arise and skillful qualities decline.”

65

“Mendicants, I do not see a single thing that gives rise to skillful qualities, or makes unskillful qualities decline like contentment. When you’re contented, skillful qualities arise and unskillful qualities decline.”

66

“Mendicants, I do not see a single thing that gives rise to unskillful qualities, or makes skillful qualities decline like improper attention. When you attend improperly, unskillful qualities arise and skillful qualities decline.”

67

“Mendicants, I do not see a single thing that gives rise to skillful qualities, or makes unskillful qualities decline like proper attention. When you attend properly, skillful qualities arise and unskillful qualities decline.”

68

“Mendicants, I do not see a single thing that gives rise to unskillful qualities, or makes skillful qualities decline like lack of situational awareness. When you lack situational awareness, unskillful qualities arise and skillful qualities decline.”

69

“Mendicants, I do not see a single thing that gives rise to skillful qualities, or makes unskillful qualities decline like situational awareness. When you have situational awareness, skillful qualities arise and unskillful qualities decline.”

70

“Mendicants, I do not see a single thing that gives rise to unskillful qualities, or makes skillful qualities decline like bad friends. When you have bad friends, unskillful qualities arise and skillful qualities decline.”

numbered discourses 1

8. good friends

71

“Mendicants, I do not see a single thing that gives rise to skillful qualities, or makes unskillful qualities decline like good friends. When you have good friends, skillful qualities arise and unskillful qualities decline.”

72

“Mendicants, I do not see a single thing that gives rise to unskillful qualities, or makes skillful qualities decline like pursuing bad habits and not good habits. When you pursue bad habits and not good habits, unskillful qualities arise and skillful qualities decline.”

73

“Mendicants, I do not see a single thing that gives rise to skillful qualities, or makes unskillful qualities decline like pursuing good habits and not bad habits. When you pursue good habits and not bad habits, skillful qualities arise and unskillful qualities decline.”

AN 1:41-50 A Spike Paṇihitaaccha Vagga

 

AN 1,41-42.PNG

Just as a laser pointing the wrong way cannot hurt the eyes, or if it is a powerful laser, hurt the body. So too does the mind which points the wrong way (without right view and not going towards nibbana) cannot break ignorance, produce knowledge and realize extinguishment.

Just as a laser which is pointing to the eyes, or a powerful laser can burn through the skin and body. So too does the mind when pointed in the right way can break ignorance, produce knowledge and realize extinguishment.

AN 1,43-44.PNG

A mind of corruption, depravity is a ticket to hell. A mind of confidence due to clarity (gladden, devoted mind) is a ticket to heaven.

Commentary: It’s not that one who had done wrong will go to hell, but more of the state of mind when one dies. Is it one that is directed towards good, glad. Or one who keeps on having a lot of remorse and corrupted to allow wrong to continue happen, who nurses hatred and plots for revenge, etc.

AN 1, 45-46.PNG

Just as a satellite cannot see the surface of the earth, the traffic, the forest and building with clouds covering that area, so too does the mind does not know what’s good for themselves, for others, for both, and cannot realize any superhuman distinction in knowledge and vision worthy of the noble ones when the mind is clouded. And the inverse is true.

AN 1,47-50.PNG

When developed and cultivated, there is nothing quite like workable or pliable as the mind, artificial intelligence included. The mind is quite awesome. There is no easy simile for how quick it changes, maybe even unto the Planck time scales.

Passing corruptions can corrupt the mind which is naturally radiant. This we see if the mind is freed from passing corruptions. The Jhana mind.

 

numbered discourses 1

5. a spike

41

“Mendicants, suppose a spike of rice or barley was pointing the wrong way. If you trod on it with hand or foot, there’s no way it could break the skin and produce blood. Why is that? Because the spike is pointing the wrong way. In the same way, a mendicant whose mind is pointing the wrong way cannot break ignorance, produce knowledge, and realize extinguishment. Why is that? Because their mind is pointing the wrong way.”

42

“Mendicants, suppose a spike of rice or barley was pointing the right way. If you trod on it with hand or foot, it may well break the skin and produce blood. Why is that? Because the spike is pointing the right way. In the same way, a mendicant whose mind is pointing the right way can break ignorance, produce knowledge, and realize extinguishment. Why is that? Because the mind is pointing the right way.”

43

“Mendicants, when I’ve comprehended the mind of a person whose mind is corrupted, I understand: ‘If this person were to die right now, they would be cast down to hell.’ Why is that? Because their mind is corrupted. Depravity of mind is the reason why some sentient beings, when their body breaks up, after death, are reborn in a place of loss, a bad place, the underworld, hell.”

44

“Mendicants, when I’ve comprehended the mind of a person whose mind is confident, I understand: ‘If this person were to die right now, they would be raised up to heaven.’ Why is that? Because their mind is clear. Clarity of mind is the reason why some sentient beings, when their body breaks up, after death, are reborn in a good place, a heavenly realm.”

45

“Suppose, mendicants, there was a lake that was cloudy, murky, and muddy. A person with good eyesight standing on the bank would not see the mussel shells, gravel and pebbles, and schools of fish swimming about or staying still. Why is that? Because the water is clouded. In the same way, that a mendicant whose mind is clouded would know what’s for their own good, the good of another, or the good of both; or that they would realize any superhuman distinction in knowledge and vision worthy of the noble ones: this is not possible. Why is that? Because their mind is clouded.”

46

“Suppose, mendicants, there was a lake that was transparent, clear, and unclouded. A person with good eyesight standing on the bank would see the mussel shells, gravel and pebbles, and schools of fish swimming about or staying still. Why is that? Because the water is unclouded. In the same way, that a mendicant whose mind is not clouded would know what’s for their own good, the good of another, or the good of both; or that they would realize any superhuman distinction in knowledge and vision worthy of the noble ones: this is possible. Why is that? Because their mind is unclouded.”

47

“Just as, mendicants, the papra is said to be the best kind of tree in terms of its pliability and workability, so too, I do not see a single thing that’s as pliable and workable as the mind, when it is developed and cultivated. A mind that is developed and cultivated is pliable and workable.”

48

“Mendicants, I do not see a single thing that’s as quick to change as the mind. So much so that it’s not easy to give a simile for how quickly the mind changes.”

49

“This mind, mendicants, is radiant. But it’s corrupted by passing corruptions.”

50

“This mind, mendicants, is radiant. And it is freed from passing corruptions.”

 

 

 

AN 1: 31-40 Untamed Adanta Vagga

Again your mind is the most important thing to decide if it becomes harmful or beneficial. If you truly wish for the mind to be beneficial then tame, guard, protect, restrain it.

Commentary:

Tame it like you tame a wild monkey, meditate so that it can settle down and listen.

Guard it from unwholesome states and hindrances as highlighted here.

Protect it from unwholesome being self indulgence and self torturing, blaming, guilt.

Restrain it from paying unwise attention onto beautiful things, repulsive things.

Your mind is like a power gem, be the power ranger which helps to tame, guard, protect and restrain it. Also, develop it, cultivate it to realize its potential.

AN 1,31-40.PNG

 

 

numbered discourses 1

4. wild

31

“Mendicants, I do not see a single thing that, when it’s not tamed, is so very harmful as the mind. A wild mind is very harmful.”

32

“Mendicants, I do not see a single thing that, when it is tamed, is so very beneficial as the mind. A tamed mind is very beneficial.”

33

“Mendicants, I do not see a single thing that, when it’s not guarded, is so very harmful as the mind. An unguarded mind is very harmful.”

34

“Mendicants, I do not see a single thing that, when it is guarded, is so very beneficial as the mind. A guarded mind is very beneficial.”

35

“Mendicants, I do not see a single thing that, when it’s not protected, is so very harmful as the mind. An unprotected mind is very harmful.”

36

“Mendicants, I do not see a single thing that, when it is protected, is so very beneficial as the mind. A protected mind is very beneficial.”

37

“Mendicants, I do not see a single thing that, when it’s not restrained, is so very harmful as the mind. An unrestrained mind is very harmful.”

38

“Mendicants, I do not see a single thing that, when it is restrained, is so very beneficial as the mind. A restrained mind is very beneficial.”

39

“Mendicants, I do not see a single thing that, when it is not tamed, guarded, protected and restrained, is so very harmful as the mind. An untamed, unguarded, unprotected, and unrestrained mind is very harmful.”

40

“Mendicants, I do not see a single thing that, when it is tamed, guarded, protected and restrained, is so very beneficial as the mind. A tamed, guarded, protected, and restrained mind is very beneficial.”

AN 1:21-30 Unwieldy Akammaniya Vagga

Your greatest weapon, friend, foe, is the mind.

It’s useless and harmful if you leave it undeveloped. More so harmful if you don’t tap its potential and do not cultivate it. An uncultivated and undeveloped mind brings suffering like nothing else does.

However, if you develop your mind it becomes workable, beneficial. Realize its potential, cultivate it to get the best benefit. A cultivated and developed mind brings you happiness like nothing else does.

Commentary.

So forget about external foe and friends, stock markets and Pokemon games. The mind is your key to being useful, beneficial and happiness. Or the key to being useless, harmful and suffering. Look inside to your mind to cultivate, develop it to realize its potential, or look outside and leave your mind undeveloped, uncultivated and potential untapped, your choice.

AN 1,21-30.PNG

numbered discourses 1

3. useless

21

“Mendicants, I do not see a single thing that, when it’s not developed like this, is as useless as the mind. An undeveloped mind is useless.”

22

“Mendicants, I do not see a single thing that, when it is developed like this, is as workable as the mind. A developed mind is workable.”

23

“Mendicants, I do not see a single thing that, when it’s not developed like this, is so very harmful as the mind. An undeveloped mind is very harmful.”

24

“Mendicants, I do not see a single thing that, when it is developed like this, is so very beneficial as the mind. A developed mind is very beneficial.”

25

“Mendicants, I do not see a single thing that, when it’s not developed, with such untapped potential, is so very harmful as the mind. An undeveloped mind, with untapped potential, is very harmful.”

26

“Mendicants, I do not see a single thing that, when it is developed, with its potential realized, is so very beneficial as the mind. A developed mind, with its potential realized, is very beneficial.”

27

“Mendicants, I do not see a single thing that, when it’s not developed and cultivated, is so very harmful as the mind. An undeveloped and uncultivated mind is very harmful.”

28

“Mendicants, I do not see a single thing that, when it is developed and cultivated, is so very beneficial as the mind. A developed and cultivated mind is very beneficial.”

29

“Mendicants, I do not see a single thing that, when it’s not developed and cultivated, brings such suffering as the mind. An undeveloped and uncultivated mind brings suffering.”

30

“Mendicants, I do not see a single thing that, when it is developed and cultivated, brings such happiness as the mind. A developed and cultivated mind brings happiness.”

AN 1:11-21 Abandoning the Hindrances, Nīvaraṇappahāna Vagga

Here are the five evil generals and their greatest strength and weaknesses.

First, lust, or sensual desire. Otherwise known as Morrigan Aensland. It gets stronger when you attend improperly to beauty. It gets weaker if you attend properly to ugliness.

Second, ill-will, anger, hatred. Otherwise known as Hulk. It gets stronger when you attend improperly to repulsion, weaker if you attend properly on the heart which is released by loving-kindness.

Third, dullness and drowsiness, or sloth and torpor. Otherwise known as Garfield. It gets stronger when you have a sluggish mind, being discontent, slothful, yawning, sleepiness after eating. It gets weaker if you have the element of initiative, persistence and exertion, or energy, effort.

Fourth, restlessness and remorse. Otherwise known as Calvin (from Calvin and Hobbes). It gets stronger with an unsettled mind, weaker with peace of mind.

Lastly, doubt, uncertainty. Otherwise known as the Flat Earthers. It gets stronger with improper attention, weaker with proper attention.

 

AN 1,11-20

The following is the proper English Translation by Bhante Sujato. https://suttacentral.net/an1.11-20/en/sujato

numbered collection 1

2. giving up the hindrances

11

“Mendicants, I do not see a single thing that gives rise to sensual desire, or, when it has arisen, makes it increase and grow like the aspect of beauty. When you attend improperly on the aspect of beauty, sensual desire arises, and once arisen it increases and grows.”

12
“Mendicants, I do not see a single thing that gives rise to ill will, or, when it has arisen, makes it increase and grow like the aspect of repulsion. When you attend improperly on the aspect of repulsion, ill will arises, and once arisen it increases and grows.”

13
“Mendicants, I do not see a single thing that gives rise to dullness and drowsiness, or, when they have arisen, makes them increase and grow like discontent, sloth, yawning, sleepiness after eating, and mental sluggishness. When you have a sluggish mind, dullness and drowsiness arise, and once arisen they increase and grow.”

14
“Mendicants, I do not see a single thing that gives rise to restlessness and remorse, or, when they have arisen, makes them increase and grow like an unsettled mind. When you have no peace of mind, restlessness and remorse arise, and once arisen they increase and grow.”

15
“Mendicants, I do not see a single thing that gives rise to doubt, or, when it has arisen, makes it increase and grow like improper attention. When you attend improperly, doubt arises, and once arisen it increases and grows.”

16
“Mendicants, I do not see a single thing that prevents sensual desire from arising, or, when it has arisen, abandons it like the aspect of ugliness. When you attend properly on the aspect of ugliness, sensual desire does not arise, or, if it’s already arisen, it’s given up.”

17
“Mendicants, I do not see a single thing that prevents ill will from arising, or, when it has arisen, abandons it like the heart’s release by love. When you attend properly on the heart’s release by love, ill will does not arise, or, if it’s already arisen, it’s given up.”

18
“Mendicants, I do not see a single thing that prevents dullness and drowsiness from arising, or, when they have arisen, by which they are given up like the elements of initiative, persistence, and exertion. When you’re energetic, dullness and drowsiness do not arise, or, if they’ve already arisen, they’re given up.”

19
“Mendicants, I do not see a single thing that prevents restlessness and remorse from arising, or, when they have arisen, by which they are given up like peace of mind. When your mind is peaceful, restlessness and remorse do not arise, or, if they’ve already arisen, they’re given up.”

20
“Mendicants, I do not see a single thing that prevents doubt from arising, or, when it has arisen, gives it up like proper attention. When you attend properly, doubt does not arise, or, if it’s already arisen, it’s given up.”

For more commentaries and excellent explanations please read: http://www.themindingcentre.org/dharmafarer/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/16.3-Nivarana-Pahana-Vagga-a1.2-piya.pdf

 

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