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05 12 2011 457 LESSON To Kevatta Kevaddha Sutta Consciousness without feature, without end, luminous all around: Here water, earth, fire, & wind have no footing. Here long & short coarse & fine fair & foul name & form are all brought to an end. With the cessation of [the activity of] consciousness each is here brought to an end.’” That is what the Blessed One said. Gratified, Kevatta the householder delighted in the Blessed One’s words.
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05 12 2011 457 LESSON  To Kevatta Kevaddha
Sutta Consciousness without feature, without end,
luminous all around: Here water, earth, fire, & wind have no footing. Here
long & short coarse & fine fair & foul name & form are all
brought to an end. With the cessation of [the activity of] consciousness each
is here brought to an end.’”

That
is what the Blessed One said. Gratified, Kevatta the householder delighted in
the Blessed One’s words.

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 LESSON 457

Babasaheb Dr.BR Ambedkar Maha Parinibbana day function on 06-12-2011 at 11:00AM at BSP HQ & from 10:00 AM Timapuri Chowk to Jagat Jyoti march by Gulbargah BSP. Please attend in large numbers

Practice
a Sutta a Day Keeps Dukkha Away



 

DN
11

PTS:
D i 211

Kevatta
(Kevaddha) Sutta: To Kevatta

translated
from the Pali by

Thanissaro
Bhikkhu

© 1997–2011

I have heard that on one
occasion the Blessed One was staying at Nalanda in Pavarika’s mango grove. Then Kevatta the
householder
approached the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down,
sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One:
“Lord, this Nalanda is powerful, both prosperous and populous, filled with
people who have faith in the Blessed One. It would be good if the Blessed One
were to direct a monk to display a miracle of psychic power from his superior
human state so that Nalanda would to an even greater extent have faith in the
Blessed One.”

When this was said, the
Blessed One said to Kevatta the householder, “Kevatta, I don’t teach the
monks in this way: ‘Come, monks, display a miracle of psychic power to the lay
people clad in white.’”

A second time… A third time,
Kevatta the householder said to the Blessed One: “I won’t argue with the
Blessed One, but I tell you: Lord, this Nalanda is powerful, both prosperous
and populous, filled with people who have faith in the Blessed One. It would be
good if the Blessed One were to direct a monk to display a miracle of psychic
power from his superior human state so that Nalanda would to an even greater
extent have faith in the Blessed One.”

A third time, the Blessed One
said to Kevatta the householder, “Kevatta, I don’t teach the monks in this
way: ‘Come, monks, display a miracle of psychic power to the lay people clad in
white.’

“Kevatta, there are these
three miracles that I have declared, having directly
known and realized them for myself. Which three? The miracle of psychic power,
the miracle of telepathy, and the miracle of instruction.

The Miracle of Psychic Power

“And what is the miracle
of psychic power? There is the case where a monk wields manifold psychic
powers. Having been one he becomes many; having been many he becomes one. He
appears. He vanishes. He goes unimpeded through walls, ramparts, and mountains
as if through space. He dives in and out of the earth as if it were water. He
walks on water without sinking as if it were dry land. Sitting cross-legged he
flies through the air like a winged bird. With his hand he touches and strokes
even the sun and moon, so mighty and powerful. He exercises influence with his
body even as far as the Brahma worlds.

“Then someone who has
faith and conviction in him sees him wielding manifold psychic powers…
exercising influence with his body even as far as the Brahma worlds. He reports
this to someone who has no faith and no conviction, telling him, ‘Isn’t it
awesome. Isn’t it astounding, how great the power, how great the prowess of
this contemplative. Just now I saw him wielding manifold psychic powers…
exercising influence with his body even as far as the Brahma worlds.’

“Then the person without
faith, without conviction, would say to the person with faith and with
conviction: ‘Sir, there is a charm called the Gandhari charm by which the monk
wielded manifold psychic powers… exercising influence with his body even as
far as the Brahma worlds.’ What do you think, Kevatta — isn’t that what the man
without faith, without conviction, would say to the man with faith and with
conviction?”

“Yes, lord, that’s just
what he would say.”

“Seeing this drawback to
the miracle of psychic power, Kevatta, I feel horrified, humiliated, and
disgusted with the miracle of psychic power.

The Miracle of Telepathy

“And what is the miracle
of telepathy? There is the case where a monk reads the minds, the mental
events, the thoughts, the ponderings of other beings, other individuals,
[saying,] ‘Such is your thinking, here is where your thinking is, thus is your
mind.’

“Then someone who has
faith and conviction in him sees him reading the minds… of other beings… He
reports this to someone who has no faith and no conviction, telling him, ‘Isn’t
it awesome. Isn’t it astounding, how great the power, how great the prowess of
this contemplative. Just now I saw him reading the minds… of other beings…’

“Then the person without
faith, without conviction, would say to the person with faith and with
conviction: ‘Sir, there is a charm called the Manika charm by which the monk
read the minds… of other beings…’ What do you think, Kevatta — isn’t that
what the man without faith, without conviction, would say to the man with faith
and with conviction?”

“Yes, lord, that’s just
what he would say.”

“Seeing this drawback to
the miracle of telepathy, Kevatta, I feel horrified, humiliated, and disgusted
with the miracle of telepathy.

The Miracle of Instruction

“And what is the miracle
of instruction? There is the case where a monk gives instruction in this way:
‘Direct your thought in this way, don’t direct it in that. Attend to things in
this way, don’t attend to them in that. Let go of this, enter and remain in
that.’ This, Kevatta, is called the miracle of instruction.

“Furthermore, there is
the case where a Tathagata appears in the world, worthy and rightly
self-awakened. He teaches the Dhamma admirable in its beginning, admirable in
its middle, admirable in its end. He proclaims the holy life both in its
particulars and in its essence, entirely perfect, surpassingly pure.

“A householder or
householder’s son, hearing the Dhamma, gains conviction in the Tathagata and
reflects: ‘Household life is confining, a dusty path. The
life gone forth is like the open air. It is not easy living at home to practice
the holy life totally perfect, totally pure, like a polished
shell
. What if I were to shave off my hair and beard, put on the ochre
robes, and go forth from the household life into homelessness?’

“So after some time he
abandons his mass of wealth, large or small; leaves his circle of relatives,
large or small; shaves off his hair and beard, puts on the ochre robes, and
goes forth from the household life into homelessness.

“When he has thus gone
forth, he lives restrained by the rules of the monastic code, seeing danger in
the slightest faults. Consummate in his virtue, he guards the doors of his
senses, is possessed of mindfulness and alertness, and is content.

The Lesser Section on Virtue

“And how is a monk
consummate in virtue? Abandoning the taking of life, he 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. This
is part of his virtue.

“Abandoning the taking of
what is not given, he abstains from taking what is not given. He takes only
what is given, accepts only what is given, lives not by stealth but by means of
a self that has become pure. This, too, is part of his virtue.

“Abandoning uncelibacy,
he lives a celibate life, aloof, refraining from the sexual act that is the
villager’s way. This, too, is part of his virtue.

“Abandoning false speech,
he abstains from false speech. He speaks the truth, holds to the truth, is
firm, reliable, no deceiver of the world. This, too, is part of his virtue.

“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. This, too, is part of his virtue.

“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 and pleasing to people at large. This, too, is part of his virtue.

“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, too, is part of his virtue.

“He abstains from
damaging seed and plant life.

“He eats only once a day,
refraining from the evening meal and from food at the wrong time of day.

“He abstains from
dancing, singing, instrumental music, and from watching shows.

“He abstains from wearing
garlands and from beautifying himself with scents and cosmetics.

“He abstains from high
and luxurious beds and seats.

“He abstains from
accepting gold and money.

“He abstains from
accepting uncooked grain… raw meat… women and girls… male and female
slaves… goats and sheep… fowl and pigs… elephants, cattle, steeds, and
mares… fields and property.

“He abstains from running
messages… from buying and selling… from dealing with false scales, false
metals, and false measures… from bribery, deception, and fraud.

“He abstains from
mutilating, executing, imprisoning, highway robbery, plunder, and violence.

“This, too, is part of
his virtue.

The Intermediate Section on Virtue

“Whereas some priests and
contemplatives, living off food given in faith, are addicted to damaging seed
and plant life such as these — plants propagated from roots, stems, joints,
buddings, and seeds — he abstains from damaging seed and plant life such as
these. This, too, is part of his virtue.

“Whereas some priests and
contemplatives, living off food given in faith, are addicted to consuming
stored-up goods such as these — stored-up food, stored-up drinks, stored-up
clothing, stored-up vehicles, stored-up bedding, stored-up scents, and
stored-up meat — he abstains from consuming stored-up goods such as these.
This, too, is part of his virtue.

Whereas
some
priests and contemplatives, living off food given in faith, are
addicted to watching shows such as these — dancing, singing, instrumental
music, plays, ballad recitations, hand-clapping, cymbals and drums, magic
lantern scenes, acrobatic and conjuring tricks, elephant fights, horse fights,
buffalo fights, bull fights, goat fights, ram fights, cock fights, quail
fights; fighting with staves, boxing, wrestling, war-games, roll calls, battle
arrays, and regimental reviews — he abstains from watching shows such as these.
This, too, is part of his virtue.

“Whereas some priests and
contemplatives, living off food given in faith, are addicted to heedless and
idle games such as these — eight-row chess, ten-row chess, chess in the air,
hopscotch, spillikins, dice, stick games, hand-pictures, ball-games, blowing
through toy pipes, playing with toy plows, turning somersaults, playing with
toy windmills, toy measures, toy chariots, toy bows, guessing letters drawn in
the air, guessing thoughts, mimicking deformities — he abstains from heedless
and idle games such as these. This, too, is part of his virtue.

Whereas
some
priests and contemplatives, living off food given in faith, are
addicted to high and luxurious furnishings such as these — over-sized couches,
couches adorned with carved animals, long-haired coverlets, multi-colored
patchwork coverlets, white woolen coverlets, woolen coverlets embroidered with
flowers or animal figures, stuffed quilts, coverlets with fringe, silk
coverlets embroidered with gems; large woolen carpets; elephant, horse, and
chariot rugs, antelope-hide rugs, deer-hide rugs; couches with awnings, couches
with red cushions for the head and feet — he abstains from using high and
luxurious furnishings such as these. This, too, is part of his virtue.

Whereas
some priests
and contemplatives, living off food given in faith, are
addicted to scents, cosmetics, and means of beautification such as these —
rubbing powders into the body, massaging with oils, bathing in perfumed water,
kneading the limbs, using mirrors, ointments, garlands, scents, creams,
face-powders, mascara, bracelets, head-bands, decorated walking sticks,
ornamented water-bottles, swords, fancy sunshades, decorated sandals, turbans,
gems, yak-tail whisks, long-fringed white robes — he abstains from using
scents, cosmetics, and means of beautification such as these. This, too, is
part of his virtue.

Whereas
some priests
and contemplatives, living off food given in faith, are
addicted to talking about lowly topics such as these — talking about kings,
robbers, ministers of state; armies, alarms, and battles; food and drink;
clothing, furniture, garlands, and scents; relatives; vehicles; villages,
towns, cities, the countryside; women and heroes; the gossip of the street and
the well; tales of the dead; tales of diversity [philosophical discussions of
the past and future], the creation of the world and of the sea, and talk of
whether things exist or not — he abstains from talking about lowly topics such
as these. This, too, is part of his virtue.

“Whereas some priests and
contemplatives, living off food given in faith, are addicted to debates such as
these — ‘You understand this doctrine and discipline? I’m the one
who understands this doctrine and discipline. How could you understand this
doctrine and discipline? You’re practicing wrongly. I’m practicing rightly. I’m
being consistent. You’re not. What should be said first you said last. What should
be said last you said first. What you took so long to think out has been
refuted. Your doctrine has been overthrown. You’re defeated. Go and try to
salvage your doctrine; extricate yourself if you can!’ — he abstains from
debates such as these. This, too, is part of his virtue.

“Whereas some priests and
contemplatives, living off food given in faith, are addicted to running
messages and errands for people such as these — kings, ministers of state,
noble warriors, priests, householders, or youths [who say], ‘Go here, go there,
take this there, fetch that here’ — he abstains from running messages and
errands for people such as these. This, too, is part of his virtue.

“Whereas some priests and
contemplatives, living off food given in faith, engage in scheming, persuading,
hinting, belittling, and pursuing gain with gain, he abstains from forms of
scheming and persuading [improper ways of trying to gain material support from
donors] such as these. This, too, is part of his virtue.

The Great Section on Virtue

Whereas
some priests
and contemplatives, living off food given in faith, maintain
themselves by wrong livelihood, by such lowly arts as:

reading
marks on the limbs [e.g., palmistry];
reading omens and signs;
interpreting celestial events [falling stars, comets];
interpreting dreams;
reading marks on the body [e.g., phrenology];
reading marks on cloth gnawed by mice;
offering fire oblations, oblations from a ladle, oblations of husks, rice
powder, rice grains, ghee, and oil;
offering oblations from the mouth;
offering blood-sacrifices;
making predictions based on the fingertips;
geomancy;
laying demons in a cemetery;
placing spells on spirits;
reciting house-protection charms;
snake charming, poison-lore, scorpion-lore, rat-lore, bird-lore, crow-lore;
fortune-telling based on visions;
giving protective charms;
interpreting the calls of birds and animals —

he abstains from wrong
livelihood, from lowly arts such as these.

“Whereas some priests and
contemplatives, living off food given in faith, maintain themselves by wrong
livelihood, by such lowly arts as: determining lucky and unlucky gems,
garments, staffs, swords, spears, arrows, bows, and other weapons; women, boys,
girls, male slaves, female slaves; elephants, horses, buffaloes, bulls, cows,
goats, rams, fowl, quails, lizards, long-eared rodents, tortoises, and other
animals — he abstains from wrong livelihood, from lowly arts such as these.

“Whereas some priests and
contemplatives, living off food given in faith, maintain themselves by wrong
livelihood, by such lowly arts as forecasting:

the
rulers will march forth;
the rulers will march forth and return;
our rulers will attack, and their rulers will retreat;
their rulers will attack, and our rulers will retreat;
there will be triumph for our rulers and defeat for their rulers;
there will be triumph for their rulers and defeat for our rulers;
thus there will be triumph, thus there will be defeat —

he abstains from wrong
livelihood, from lowly arts such as these.

“Whereas some priests and
contemplatives, living off food given in faith, maintain themselves by wrong
livelihood, by such lowly arts as forecasting:

there
will be a lunar eclipse;
there will be a solar eclipse;
there will be an occultation of an asterism;
the sun and moon will go their normal courses;
the sun and moon will go astray;
the asterisms will go their normal courses;
the asterisms will go astray;
there will be a meteor shower;
there will be a darkening of the sky;
there will be an earthquake;
there will be thunder coming from a clear sky;
there will be a rising, a setting, a darkening, a brightening of the sun, moon,
and asterisms;
such will be the result of the lunar eclipse… the rising, setting, darkening,
brightening of the sun, moon, and asterisms —

he abstains from wrong livelihood,
from lowly arts such as these.

“Whereas some priests and
contemplatives, living off food given in faith, maintain themselves by wrong
livelihood, by such lowly arts as forecasting:

there
will be abundant rain; there will be a drought;
there will be plenty; there will be famine;
there will be rest and security; there will be danger;
there will be disease; there will be freedom from disease;
or they earn their living by counting, accounting, calculation, composing
poetry, or teaching hedonistic arts and doctrines —

he abstains from wrong
livelihood, from lowly arts such as these.

“Whereas some priests and
contemplatives, living off food given in faith, maintain themselves by wrong
livelihood, by such lowly arts as:

calculating
auspicious dates for marriages, betrothals, divorces; for collecting debts or
making investments and loans; for being attractive or unattractive; curing
women who have undergone miscarriages or abortions;
reciting spells to bind a man’s tongue, to paralyze his jaws, to make him lose
control over his hands, or to bring on deafness;
getting oracular answers to questions addressed to a mirror, to a young girl,
or to a spirit medium;
worshipping the sun, worshipping the Great Brahma, bringing
forth flames from the mouth, invoking the goddess of luck —

he abstains from wrong
livelihood, from lowly arts such as these.

“Whereas some priests and
contemplatives, living off food given in faith, maintain themselves by wrong
livelihood, by such lowly arts as:

promising
gifts to devas in return for favors; fulfilling such promises;
demonology;
teaching house-protection spells;
inducing virility and impotence;
consecrating sites for construction;
giving ceremonial mouthwashes and ceremonial bathing;
offering sacrificial fires;
preparing emetics, purgatives, expectorants, diuretics, headache cures;
preparing ear-oil, eye-drops, oil for treatment through the nose, collyrium,
and counter-medicines; curing cataracts, practicing surgery, practicing as a
children’s doctor, administering medicines and treatments to cure their
after-effects —

he abstains from wrong
livelihood, from lowly arts such as these. This, too, is part of his virtue.

“A monk thus consummate
in virtue sees no danger anywhere from his restraint through virtue. Just as a head-anointed noble warrior king who has defeated his
enemies sees no danger anywhere from his enemies, in the same way the monk thus
consummate in virtue sees no danger anywhere from his restraint through virtue.
Endowed with this noble aggregate of virtue, he is inwardly sensitive to the
pleasure of being blameless. This is how a monk is consummate in virtue.

Sense Restraint

“And how does a monk
guard the doors of his senses? On seeing a form with the eye, he does not grasp
at any theme or details by which — if he were to dwell without restraint over
the faculty of the eye — evil, unskillful qualities such as greed or distress
might assail him. On hearing a sound with the ear… On smelling an odor with
the nose… On tasting a flavor with the tongue… On touching a tactile
sensation with the body… On cognizing an idea with the intellect, he does not
grasp at any theme or details by which — if he were to dwell without restraint
over the faculty of the intellect — evil, unskillful qualities such as greed or
distress might assail him. Endowed with this noble restraint over the sense
faculties, he is inwardly sensitive to the pleasure of being blameless. This is
how a monk guards the doors of his senses.

Mindfulness & Alertness

“And how is a monk
possessed of mindfulness and alertness? When going forward and returning, he
acts with alertness. When looking toward and looking away… when bending and
extending his limbs… when carrying his outer cloak, his upper robe, and his
bowl… when eating, drinking, chewing, and tasting… when urinating and
defecating… when walking, standing, sitting, falling asleep, waking up,
talking, and remaining silent, he acts with alertness. This is how a monk is
possessed of mindfulness and alertness.

Contentedness

“And how is a monk
content? Just as a bird, wherever it goes, flies with its
wings as its only burden; so too is he content with a set of robes to provide
for his body and almsfood to provide for his hunger. Wherever he goes, he takes
only his barest necessities along. This is how a monk is content.

Abandoning the Hindrances

“Endowed with this noble
aggregate of virtue, this noble restraint over the sense faculties, this noble
mindfulness and alertness, and this noble contentment, he seeks out a secluded
dwelling: a forest, the shade of a tree, a mountain, a glen, a hillside cave, a
charnel ground, a jungle grove, the open air, a heap of straw. After his meal,
returning from his alms round, he sits down, crosses his legs, holds his body
erect, and brings mindfulness to the fore.

“Abandoning covetousness
with regard to the world, he dwells with an awareness devoid of covetousness.
He cleanses his mind of covetousness. Abandoning ill will and anger, he dwells
with an awareness devoid of ill will, sympathetic with the welfare of all
living beings. He cleanses his mind of ill will and anger. Abandoning sloth
& drowsiness, he dwells with an awareness devoid of sloth & drowsiness,
mindful, alert, percipient of light. He cleanses his mind of sloth &
drowsiness. Abandoning restlessness and anxiety, he dwells undisturbed, his
mind inwardly stilled. He cleanses his mind of restlessness and anxiety.
Abandoning uncertainty, he dwells having crossed over uncertainty, with no
perplexity with regard to skillful mental qualities. He cleanses his mind of
uncertainty.

Suppose
that a man
, taking a loan, invests it in his business affairs. His business
affairs succeed. He repays his old debts and there is extra left over for
maintaining his wife. The thought would occur to him, ‘Before, taking a loan, I
invested it in my business affairs. Now my business affairs have succeeded. I
have repaid my old debts and there is extra left over for maintaining my wife.’
Because of that he would experience joy and happiness.

Now suppose
that a man
falls sick — in pain and seriously ill. He does not enjoy his
meals, and there is no strength in his body. As time passes, he eventually
recovers from that sickness. He enjoys his meals and there is strength in his
body. The thought would occur to him, ‘Before, I was sick… Now I am recovered
from that sickness. I enjoy my meals and there is strength in my body.’ Because
of that he would experience joy and happiness.

Now
suppose that a man
is bound in prison. As time passes, he eventually is
released from that bondage, safe and sound, with no loss of property. The
thought would occur to him, ‘Before, I was bound in prison. Now I am released
from that bondage, safe and sound, with no loss of my property.’ Because of
that he would experience joy and happiness.

Now suppose
that a man
is a slave, subject to others, not subject to himself, unable to
go where he likes. As time passes, he eventually is released from that slavery,
subject to himself, not subject to others, freed, able to go where he likes.
The thought would occur to him, ‘Before, I was a slave… Now I am released
from that slavery, subject to myself, not subject to others, freed, able to go
where I like.’ Because of that he would experience joy and happiness.

Now suppose
that a man
, carrying money and goods, is traveling by a road through
desolate country. As time passes, he eventually emerges from that desolate
country, safe and sound, with no loss of property. The thought would occur to
him, ‘Before, carrying money and goods, I was traveling by a road through
desolate country. Now I have emerged from that desolate country, safe and
sound, with no loss of my property.’ Because of that he would experience joy
and happiness.

“In the same way, when
these five hindrances are not abandoned in himself, the monk regards it as a
debt, a sickness, a prison, slavery, a road through desolate country. But when
these five hindrances are abandoned in himself, he regards it as
unindebtedness, good health, release from prison, freedom, a place of security.
Seeing that they have been abandoned within him, he becomes glad. Glad, he
becomes enraptured. Enraptured, his body grows tranquil. His body tranquil, he
is sensitive to pleasure. Feeling pleasure, his mind becomes concentrated.

The Four Jhanas

“Quite withdrawn from
sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful mental qualities, he enters and remains
in the first jhana: rapture and pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by
directed thought and evaluation. He permeates and pervades, suffuses and fills
this very body with the rapture and pleasure born from withdrawal. Just as if a skilled bathman or bathman’s apprentice would
pour bath powder into a brass basin and knead it together, sprinkling it again
and again with water, so that his ball of bath powder — saturated,
moisture-laden, permeated within and without — would nevertheless not drip;
even so, the monk permeates… this very body with the rapture and pleasure
born of withdrawal. There is nothing of his entire body unpervaded by rapture
and pleasure born from withdrawal.

“This, too, is called the
miracle of instruction.

“Furthermore, with the
stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, he enters and remains in the
second jhana: rapture and pleasure born of composure, unification of awareness
free from directed thought and evaluation — internal assurance. He permeates
and pervades, suffuses and fills this very body with the rapture and pleasure
born of composure. Just like a lake with spring-water welling
up from within, having no inflow from the east, west, north, or south, and with
the skies supplying abundant showers time and again, so that the cool fount of
water welling up from within the lake would permeate and pervade, suffuse and
fill it with cool waters, there being no part of the lake unpervaded by the
cool waters; even so, the monk permeates… this very body with the rapture and
pleasure born of composure. There is nothing of his entire body unpervaded by
rapture and pleasure born of composure.

“This, too, is called the
miracle of instruction.

“And furthermore, with the
fading of rapture, he remains equanimous, mindful, & alert, and senses
pleasure with the body. He enters & remains in the third jhana, of which
the Noble Ones declare, ‘Equanimous & mindful, he has a pleasant abiding.’
He permeates and pervades, suffuses and fills this very body with the pleasure
divested of rapture. Just as in a lotus pond, some of the
lotuses, born and growing in the water, stay immersed in the water and flourish
without standing up out of the water, so that they are permeated and pervaded,
suffused and filled with cool water from their roots to their tips, and nothing
of those lotuses would be unpervaded with cool water; even so, the monk
permeates… this very body with the pleasure divested of rapture. There is
nothing of his entire body unpervaded with pleasure divested of rapture.

“This, too, is called the
miracle of instruction.

“And furthermore, with
the abandoning of pleasure and stress — as with the earlier disappearance of
elation and distress — he enters and remains in the fourth jhana: purity of
equanimity and mindfulness, neither-pleasure nor stress. He sits, permeating
the body with a pure, bright awareness. Just as if a man were
sitting covered from head to foot with a white cloth so that there would be no
part of his body to which the white cloth did not extend; even so, the monk
sits, permeating the body with a pure, bright awareness. There is nothing of
his entire body unpervaded by pure, bright awareness.

“This, too, is called the
miracle of instruction.

Insight Knowledge

“With his mind thus
concentrated, purified, and bright, unblemished, free from defects, pliant,
malleable, steady, and attained to imperturbability, he directs and inclines it
to knowledge and vision. He discerns: ‘This body of mine is endowed with form, composed
of the four primary elements, born from mother and father, nourished with rice
and porridge, subject to inconstancy, rubbing, pressing, dissolution, and
dispersion. And this consciousness of mine is supported here and bound up
here.’ Just as if there were a beautiful beryl gem of the
purest water — eight faceted, well polished, clear, limpid, consummate in all
its aspects, and going through the middle of it was a blue, yellow, red, white,
or brown thread — and a man with good eyesight, taking it in his hand, were to
reflect on it thus: ‘This is a beautiful beryl gem of the purest water, eight
faceted, well polished, clear, limpid, consummate in all its aspects. And this,
going through the middle of it, is a blue, yellow, red, white, or brown thread.’
In the same way — with his mind thus concentrated, purified, and bright,
unblemished, free from defects, pliant, malleable, steady, and attained to
imperturbability — the monk directs and inclines it to knowledge and vision. He
discerns: ‘This body of mine is endowed with form, composed of the four primary
elements, born from mother and father, nourished with rice and porridge,
subject to inconstancy, rubbing, pressing, dissolution, and dispersion. And
this consciousness of mine is supported here and bound up here.’

“This, too, is called the
miracle of instruction.

The Mind-made Body

“With his mind thus
concentrated, purified, and bright, unblemished, free from defects, pliant,
malleable, steady, and attained to imperturbability, he directs and inclines it
to creating a mind-made body. From this body he creates another body, endowed
with form, made of the mind, complete in all its parts, not inferior in its
faculties. Just as if a man were to draw a reed from its
sheath. The thought would occur to him: ‘This is the sheath, this is the reed.
The sheath is one thing, the reed another, but the reed has been drawn out from
the sheath.’ Or as if a man were to draw a sword from its
scabbard. The thought would occur to him: ‘This is the sword, this is the
scabbard. The sword is one thing, the scabbard another, but the sword has been
drawn out from the scabbard.’ Or as if a man were to pull a
snake out from its slough. The thought would occur to him: ‘This is the snake,
this is the slough. The snake is one thing, the slough another, but the snake
has been pulled out from the slough.’ In the same way — with his mind thus
concentrated, purified, and bright, unblemished, free from defects, pliant,
malleable, steady, and attained to imperturbability, the monk directs and inclines
it to creating a mind-made body. From this body he creates another body,
endowed with form, made of the mind, complete in all its parts, not inferior in
its faculties.

“This, too, is called the
miracle of instruction.

Supranormal Powers

With
his mind
thus concentrated, purified, and bright, unblemished, free from
defects, pliant, malleable, steady, and attained to imperturbability, he
directs and inclines it to the modes of supranormal powers. He wields manifold
supranormal powers. Having been one he becomes many; having been many he
becomes one. He appears. He vanishes. He goes unimpeded through walls,
ramparts, and mountains as if through space. He dives in and out of the earth
as if it were water. He walks on water without sinking as if it were dry land.
Sitting cross-legged he flies through the air like a winged bird. With his hand
he touches and strokes even the sun and moon, so mighty and powerful. He
exercises influence with his body even as far as the Brahma worlds. Just as a skilled potter or his assistant could craft from
well-prepared clay whatever kind of pottery vessel he likes, or
as a skilled ivory-carver
or his assistant could craft from well-prepared
ivory any kind of ivory-work he likes, or as a skilled goldsmith
or his assistant could craft from well-prepared gold any kind of gold article
he likes; in the same way — with his mind thus concentrated, purified, and
bright, unblemished, free from defects, pliant, malleable, steady, and attained
to imperturbability — the monk directs and inclines it to the modes of
supranormal powers… He exercises influence with his body even as far as the
Brahma worlds.

“This, too, is called the
miracle of instruction.

Clairaudience

“With his mind thus
concentrated, purified, and bright, unblemished, free from defects, pliant,
malleable, steady, and attained to imperturbability, he directs and inclines it
to the divine ear-element. He hears — by means of the divine ear-element,
purified and surpassing the human — both kinds of sounds: divine and human, whether
near or far. Just as if a man traveling along a highway were
to hear the sounds of kettledrums, small drums, conchs, cymbals, and tom-toms.
He would know, ‘That is the sound of kettledrums, that is the sound of small
drums, that is the sound of conchs, that is the sound of cymbals, and that is
the sound of tom-toms.’ In the same way — with his mind thus concentrated,
purified, and bright, unblemished, free from defects, pliant, malleable,
steady, and attained to imperturbability — the monk directs and inclines it to
the divine ear-element. He hears — by means of the divine ear-element, purified
and surpassing the human — both kinds of sounds: divine and human, whether near
or far.

“This, too, is called the
miracle of instruction.

Mind Reading

“With his mind thus
concentrated, purified, and bright, unblemished, free from defects, pliant,
malleable, steady, and attained to imperturbability, he directs and inclines it
to knowledge of the awareness of other beings. He knows the awareness of other
beings, other individuals, having encompassed it with his own awareness. He
discerns a mind with passion as a mind with passion, and a mind without passion
as a mind without passion. He discerns a mind with aversion as a mind with
aversion, and a mind without aversion as a mind without aversion. He discerns a
mind with delusion as a mind with delusion, and a mind without delusion as a
mind without delusion. He discerns a restricted mind as a restricted mind, and
a scattered mind as a scattered mind. He discerns an enlarged mind as an
enlarged mind, and an unenlarged mind as an unenlarged mind. He discerns an
excelled mind [one that is not at the most excellent level] as an excelled
mind, and an unexcelled mind as an unexcelled mind. He discerns a concentrated
mind as a concentrated mind, and an unconcentrated mind as an unconcentrated
mind. He discerns a released mind as a released mind, and an unreleased mind as
an unreleased mind. Just as if a young woman — or man —
fond of ornaments, examining the reflection of her own face in a bright mirror
or a bowl of clear water would know ‘blemished’ if it were blemished, or
‘unblemished’ if it were not. In the same way — with his mind thus
concentrated, purified, and bright, unblemished, free from defects, pliant,
malleable, steady, and attained to imperturbability — the monk directs and
inclines it to knowledge of the awareness of other beings. He knows the
awareness of other beings, other individuals, having encompassed it with his
own awareness. He discerns a mind with passion as a mind with passion, and a
mind without passion as a mind without passion… a released mind as a released
mind, and an unreleased mind as an unreleased mind.

“This, too, is called the
miracle of instruction.

Recollection of Past Lives

“With his mind thus
concentrated, purified, and bright, unblemished, free from defects, pliant,
malleable, steady, and attained to imperturbability, he directs and inclines it
to knowledge of the recollection of past lives (lit: previous homes). He
recollects his manifold past lives, i.e., one birth, two births, three births,
four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, one hundred, one thousand, one
hundred thousand, many aeons of cosmic contraction, many aeons of cosmic
expansion, many aeons of cosmic contraction and expansion, [recollecting],
‘There I had such a name, belonged to such a clan, had such an appearance. Such
was my food, such my experience of pleasure and pain, such the end of my life.
Passing away from that state, I re-arose there. There too I had such a name,
belonged to such a clan, had such an appearance. Such was my food, such my
experience of pleasure and pain, such the end of my life. Passing away from
that state, I re-arose here.’ Thus he recollects his manifold past lives in
their modes and details. Just as if a man were to go from
his home village to another village, and then from that village to yet another
village, and then from that village back to his home village. The thought would
occur to him, ‘I went from my home village to that village over there. There I
stood in such a way, sat in such a way, talked in such a way, and remained
silent in such a way. From that village I went to that village over there, and
there I stood in such a way, sat in such a way, talked in such a way, and remained
silent in such a way. From that village I came back home.’ In the same way —
with his mind thus concentrated, purified, and bright, unblemished, free from
defects, pliant, malleable, steady, and attained to imperturbability — the monk
directs and inclines it to knowledge of the recollection of past lives. He
recollects his manifold past lives… in their modes and details.

“This, too, is called the
miracle of instruction.

The Passing Away & Re-appearance
of Beings

“With his mind thus
concentrated, purified, and bright, unblemished, free from defects, pliant,
malleable, steady, and attained to imperturbability, he directs and inclines it
to knowledge of the passing away and re-appearance of beings. He sees — by
means of the divine eye, purified and surpassing the human — beings passing
away and re-appearing, and he discerns how they are inferior and superior,
beautiful and ugly, fortunate and unfortunate in accordance with their kamma:
‘These beings — who were endowed with bad conduct of body, speech, and mind,
who reviled the noble ones, held wrong views and undertook actions under the
influence of wrong views — with the break-up of the body, after death, have
re-appeared in the plane of deprivation, the bad destination, the lower realms,
in hell. But these beings — who were endowed with good conduct of body, speech,
and mind, who did not revile the noble ones, who held right views and undertook
actions under the influence of right views — with the break-up of the body,
after death, have re-appeared in the good destinations, in the heavenly world.’
Thus — by means of the divine eye, purified and surpassing the human — he sees
beings passing away and re-appearing, and he discerns how they are inferior and
superior, beautiful and ugly, fortunate and unfortunate in accordance with
their kamma. Just as if there were a tall building in the
central square [of a town], and a man with good eyesight standing on top of it
were to see people entering a house, leaving it, walking along the street, and
sitting in the central square. The thought would occur to him, ‘These people
are entering a house, leaving it, walking along the streets, and sitting in the
central square.’ In the same way — with his mind thus concentrated, purified,
and bright, unblemished, free from defects, pliant, malleable, steady, and
attained to imperturbability — the monk directs and inclines it to knowledge of
the passing away and re-appearance of beings. He sees — by means of the divine
eye, purified and surpassing the human — beings passing away and re-appearing,
and he discerns how they are inferior and superior, beautiful and ugly,
fortunate and unfortunate in accordance with their kamma…

“This, too, is called the
miracle of instruction.

The Ending of Mental Fermentations

“With his mind thus concentrated,
purified, and bright, unblemished, free from defects, pliant, malleable,
steady, and attained to imperturbability, the monk directs and inclines it to
the knowledge of the ending of the mental fermentations. He discerns, as it has
come to be, that ‘This is stress… This is the origination of stress… This
is the cessation of stress… This is the way leading to the cessation of
stress… These are mental fermentations… This is the origination of
fermentations… This is the cessation of fermentations… This is the way
leading to the cessation of fermentations.’ His heart, thus knowing, thus
seeing, is released from the fermentation of sensuality, the fermentation of
becoming, the fermentation of ignorance. 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.’ Just as if there
were
a pool of water in a mountain glen — clear, limpid, and unsullied —
where a man with good eyesight standing on the bank could see shells, gravel,
and pebbles, and also shoals of fish swimming about and resting, and it would
occur to him, ‘This pool of water is clear, limpid, and unsullied. Here are
these shells, gravel, and pebbles, and also these shoals of fish swimming about
and resting.’ In the same way — with his mind thus concentrated, purified, and
bright, unblemished, free from defects, pliant, malleable, steady, and attained
to imperturbability — the monk directs and inclines it to the knowledge of the
ending of the mental fermentations. He discerns, as it has come to be, that
‘This is stress… This is the origination of stress… This is the cessation
of stress… This is the way leading to the cessation of stress… These are
mental fermentations… This is the origination of fermentations… This is the
cessation of fermentations… This is the way leading to the cessation of
fermentations.’ His heart, thus knowing, thus seeing, is released from the
fermentation of sensuality, the fermentation of becoming, the fermentation of
ignorance. 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.’

“This, too, is called the
miracle of instruction.

“These are the three
miracles that I declare, Kevatta, having directly known and realized them for
myself.

Conversations with the Gods

“Once, Kevatta, this
train of thought arose in the awareness of a certain monk in this very
community of monks: ‘Where do these four great elements — the earth property,
the liquid property, the fire property, and the wind property — cease without
remainder?’ Then he attained to such a state of concentration that the way
leading to the gods appeared in his centered mind. So he approached the gods of
the retinue of the Four Great Kings and, on arrival, asked them, ‘Friends,
where do these four great elements — the earth property, the liquid property,
the fire property, and the wind property — cease without remainder?’

“When this was said, the
gods of the retinue of the Four Great Kings said to the monk, ‘We also don’t
know where the four great elements… cease without remainder. But there are
the Four Great Kings who are higher and more sublime than we. They should know
where the four great elements… cease without remainder.’

“So the monk approached
the Four Great Kings and, on arrival, asked them, ‘Friends, where do these four
great elements… cease without remainder?’

“When this was said, the
Four Great Kings said to the monk, ‘We also don’t know where the four great
elements… cease without remainder. But there are the gods of the Thirty-three
who are higher and more sublime than we. They should know…’

“So the monk approached
the gods of the Thirty-three and, on arrival, asked them, ‘Friends, where do
these four great elements… cease without remainder?’

“When this was said, the
gods of the Thirty-three said to the monk, ‘We also don’t know where the four
great elements… cease without remainder. But there is Sakka, the ruler of the
gods, who is higher and more sublime than we. He should know… ‘

“So the monk approached
Sakka, the ruler of the gods, and, on arrival, asked him, ‘Friend, where do
these four great elements… cease without remainder?’

“When this was said, Sakka,
the ruler of the gods, said to the monk, ‘I also don’t know where the four
great elements… cease without remainder. But there are the Yama
gods who are higher and more sublime than I. They should know…’…

“The Yama gods said, ‘We
also don’t know… But there is the god named Suyama… He
should know…’…

“Suyama said, ‘I also
don’t know… But there is the god named Santusita… He
should know…’…

“Santusita said, ‘I also
don’t know… But there are the Nimmanarati gods…
They should know…’…

“The Nimmanarati gods
said, ‘We also don’t know… But there is the god named Sunimmita
He should know…’…

“Sunimmita said, ‘I also
don’t know… But there are the Paranimmitavasavatti
gods… They should know…’…

“The Paranimmitavasavatti
gods said, ‘We also don’t know… But there is the god named Paranimmita Vasavatti… He should know…’…

“So the monk approached
the god Vasavatti and, on arrival, asked him, ‘Friend, where do these four
great elements… cease without remainder?’

“When this was said, the
god Vasavatti said to the monk, ‘I also don’t know where the four great
elements… cease without remainder. But there are the gods of the retinue of
Brahma who are higher and more sublime than I. They should know where the four
great elements… cease without remainder’…

“Then the monk attained
to such a state of concentration that the way leading to the gods of the
retinue of Brahma appeared in his centered mind. So he approached the gods of
the retinue of Brahma and, on arrival, asked them, ‘Friends, where do these
four great elements — the earth property, the liquid property, the fire
property, and the wind property — cease without remainder?’

“When this was said, the
gods of the retinue of Brahma said to the monk, ‘We also don’t know where the
four great elements… cease without remainder. But there is Brahma,
the Great Brahma, the Conqueror, the Unconquered, the All-Seeing, All-Powerful,
the Sovereign Lord, the Maker, Creator, Chief, Appointer and Ruler, Father of
All That Have Been and Shall Be. He is higher and more sublime than we. He
should know where the four great elements… cease without remainder.’

“‘But where, friends, is
the Great Brahma now?’

“‘Monk, we also don’t
know where Brahma is or in what way Brahma is. But when signs appear, light
shines forth, and a radiance appears, Brahma will appear. For these are the
portents of Brahma’s appearance: light shines forth and a radiance appears.’

Then
it was not long before Brahma appeared.

“So the monk approached
the Great Brahma and, on arrival, said, ‘Friend, where do these four great
elements — the earth property, the liquid property, the fire property, and the
wind property — cease without remainder?’

“When this was said, the
Great Brahma said to the monk, ‘I, monk, am Brahma, the Great Brahma, the
Conqueror, the Unconquered, the All-Seeing, All-Powerful, the Sovereign Lord,
the Maker, Creator, Chief, Appointer and Ruler, Father of All That Have Been
and Shall Be.’

A second time, the monk said
to the Great Brahma, ‘Friend, I didn’t ask you if you were Brahma, the Great
Brahma, the Conqueror, the Unconquered, the All-Seeing, All-Powerful, the
Sovereign Lord, the Maker, Creator, Chief, Appointer and Ruler, Father of All
That Have Been and Shall Be. I asked you where these four great elements — the
earth property, the liquid property, the fire property, and the wind property —
cease without remainder.’

“A second time, the Great
Brahma said to the monk, ‘I, monk, am Brahma, the Great Brahma, the Conqueror,
the Unconquered, the All-Seeing, All-Powerful, the Sovereign Lord, the Maker,
Creator, Chief, Appointer and Ruler, Father of All That Have Been and Shall
Be.’

“A third time, the monk
said to the Great Brahma, ‘Friend, I didn’t ask you if you were Brahma, the
Great Brahma, the Conqueror, the Unconquered, the All-Seeing, All-Powerful, the
Sovereign Lord, the Maker, Creator, Chief, Appointer and Ruler, Father of All
That Have Been and Shall Be. I asked you where these four great elements — the
earth property, the liquid property, the fire property, and the wind property —
cease without remainder.’

“Then the Great Brahma,
taking the monk by the arm and leading him off to one side, said to him, ‘These
gods of the retinue of Brahma believe, “There is nothing that the Great
Brahma does not know. There is nothing that the Great Brahma does not see.
There is nothing of which the Great Brahma is unaware. There is nothing that
the Great Brahma has not realized.” That is why I did not say in their
presence that I, too, don’t know where the four great elements… cease without
remainder. So you have acted wrongly, acted incorrectly, in bypassing the
Blessed One in search of an answer to this question elsewhere. Go right back to
the Blessed One and, on arrival, ask him this question. However he answers it,
you should take it to heart.’

“Then — just as a strong
man might extend his flexed arm or flex his extended arm — the monk disappeared
from the Brahma world and immediately appeared in front of me. Having bowed
down to me, he sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to me, ‘Lord,
where do these four great elements — the earth property, the liquid property,
the fire property, and the wind property — cease without remainder?’

“When this was said, I said to him,[2] ‘Once, monk, some sea-faring
merchants took a shore-sighting bird and set sail in their ship. When they
could not see the shore, they released the shore-sighting bird. It flew to the
east, south, west, north, straight up, and to all the intermediate points of
the compass. If it saw the shore in any direction, it flew there. If it did not
see the shore in any direction, it returned right back to the ship. In the same
way, monk, having gone as far as the Brahma world in search of an answer to
your question, you have come right back to my presence.

“‘Your question should
not be phrased in this way: Where do these four great elements — the earth
property, the liquid property, the fire property, and the wind property — cease
without remainder? Instead, it should be phrased like this:

Where
do water, earth, fire, & wind have no footing? Where are long & short,
coarse & fine, fair & foul, name & form brought to an end?

“‘And the answer to that
is:

Consciousness
without feature,
[1] without end,
luminous all around: Here water, earth, fire, & wind have no footing. Here
long & short coarse & fine fair & foul name & form are all
brought to an end. With the cessation of [the activity of] consciousness each
is here brought to an end.’”

That is what the Blessed One
said. Gratified, Kevatta the householder delighted in the Blessed One’s words.

Notes

1.

Viññanam anidassanam. This term is nowhere explained in the Canon, although MN 49
mentions that it “does not partake in the allness of the All” — the
“All” meaning the six internal and six external sense media (see
SN 35.23). In this it differs from the
consciousness factor in dependent co-arising, which is defined in terms of the
six sense media. Lying outside of time and space, it would also not come under
the consciousness-aggregate, which covers all consciousness near and far; past,
present, and future. However, the fact that it is outside of time and space —
in a dimension where there is no here, there, or in between (
Ud 1.10), no coming, no going, or
staying (
Ud 8.1) — means that it cannot be
described as permanent or omnipresent, terms that have meaning only within
space and time. The standard description of nibbana after death is, “All
that is sensed, not being relished, will grow cold right here.” (See
MN 140 and Iti 44.) Again, as “all” is
defined as the sense media, this raises the question as to whether
consciousness without feature is not covered by this “all.” However,
AN 4.174 warns that any speculation as to
whether anything does or doesn’t remain after the remainderless stopping of the
six sense media is to “objectify non-objectification,” which gets in
the way of attaining the non-objectified. Thus this is a question that is best
put aside.

2.


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04 12 2011 456 LESSON About Samiddhi Sutta In all the world, every world, you should do no evil with speech, body, or mind. Having abandoned sensual pleasures — mindful, alert — don’t consort with suffering & stress, with what doesn’t pertain to the goal.”
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04 12 2011 456
LESSON 
  About Samiddhi Sutta In all the world, every world, you should do no evil with speech,
body, or mind. Having abandoned sensual pleasures — mindful, alert — don’t
consort with suffering & stress, with what doesn’t pertain to the
goal.”

FREE ONLINE eNālandā Research and Practice
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BUDDHIST GOOD NEWS LETTER Through http://sarvajan.ambedkar.org

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 LESSON 455

Practice a Sutta a Day Keeps Dukkha Away

 


 

 

SN 1.20

PTS: S i 8

CDB i 97

Samiddhi Sutta: About Samiddhi

translated from the Pali by

Thanissaro Bhikkhu

© 1999–2011

Alternate translation: Walshe

Translator’s note:
The Pali canon is unique in its approach to the spirit world. While confirming
the existence of spirits and other more refined levels of beings, it insists
that they are not worthy of worship. The Buddha, after all, is the teacher not
only of human beings but also of heavenly beings; and many heavenly beings are
not especially knowledgeable or spiritually advanced, in spite of their refined
state. The Canon illustrates this point in a number of gentle satires. The most
famous is the Kevatta Sutta (DN 14), where the ignorance & pomposity of a
supposedly all-knowing creator is lampooned. This discourse is another
entertaining example of the same genre, pointing out the difficulties of
teaching more advanced Dhamma to any being — human or divine — who is obsessed
with sensual pleasures. On hearing some verses concerning the awakened one’s
state of mind — which is not subject to time and is visible here-&-now —
the devata cannot understand them, and is able to grasp only a few very basic
principles of Dhamma practice. It’s unusual for the Buddha to aim his words so
far over the heads of his listeners. Perhaps in this case, as in
SN 1.1, he wants to subdue the devata’s pride. At any rate, there is hope
for her: as the Commentary points out, her understanding covers in a
rudimentary fashion all the elements of the Noble Eightfold Path. If she
follows through with her understanding, she’s on the road to the higher
attainments.

This discourse also contains
some word play on the words “time” (kala) and “subject to
time” (kalika). “Time” can mean not only time in the
general sense, but also one’s time of death (a person who has died is said to
have “done his/her time”). These two meanings of the word underlie
the first exchange between Ven. Samiddhi and the devata. “Subject to
time” can mean “obtainable only after a certain time” or
“good only for a certain length of time”: these meanings underlie
their second exchange.

I have heard that on one
occasion the Blessed One was staying near Rajagaha at Tapoda monastery. Then Ven. Samiddhi, as
night was ending, got up & went to the Tapoda Hot Springs to bathe his
limbs. Having bathed his limbs and gotten out of the springs, he stood wearing
only his lower robe, letting his limbs dry.

Then a certain devata, in the
far extreme of the night, her extreme radiance lighting up the entire Tapoda
Hot Springs, approached Ven. Samiddhi. On arrival, while standing in the air,
she addressed him with this verse:

Without having enjoyed [sensual pleasures], you go for alms, monk.
You don’t go for alms after having enjoyed. Having enjoyed, monk, then
go for alms. Don’t let time pass you by.

[Ven.
Samiddhi replied:]

I don’t know my time. My time is hidden. It can’t be seen. That’s
why, not having enjoyed, I go for alms: Don’t let my time pass me by.

Then the devata, coming down
to earth, said to Ven. Samiddhi, “You have gone forth while young, monk — black-haired,
endowed with the blessings of youth in the first stage of life — without having
played with sensual pleasures. Enjoy human sensuality, monk. Don’t drop what is
visible here-&-now in pursuit of what’s subject to time.”

“My friend, I’m not dropping
what’s visible here-&-now in pursuit of what’s subject to time. I’m
dropping what’s subject to time in pursuit of what’s visible here-&-now. For the Blessed One has said that sensual pleasures are
subject to time, of much stress, much despair, & greater drawbacks; whereas
this Dhamma is visible here-&-now, not subject to time, inviting all to
come & see, pertinent, to be known by the wise for themselves.”

“But, monk, in what way
has the Blessed One said that sensual pleasures are subject to time, of much
stress, much despair, & greater drawbacks? And how is this Dhamma visible
here-&-now, not subject to time, inviting all to come & see, pertinent,
to be known by the wise for themselves?”

“I’m new, my friend, not
long gone forth, only recently come to this Dhamma & discipline. I can’t
explain it in detail. But the Blessed One, worthy & rightly self-awakened,
is staying here in Rajagaha at Tapoda monastery. Having gone to him, ask him
this matter. As he explains it, that’s how you should remember it.”

“Monk, it’s not easy for
us to go to the Blessed One, as he is surrounded by other devas of great
influence. But if you go to the Blessed One and ask him this matter, I will
come along to hear the Dhamma.”

Responding to the devata,
“As you say, my friend,” Ven. Samiddhi went to the Blessed One. On
arrival, he bowed down to the Blessed One and sat to one side. As he was
sitting there [he told the Blessed One his entire conversation with the
devata]. “Now, lord, if that devata was telling the truth, she is not far
from here.”

When this was said, the devata
said to Ven. Samiddhi, “Ask, monk! Ask! I’ve gotten through.”

Then the Blessed One recited
this verse to the devata:

Perceiving in terms of signs, beings take a stand on signs. Not
fully comprehending signs, they come into the bonds of death. But fully
comprehending signs, one doesn’t construe a signifier. Yet nothing exists for
him by which one would say, ‘To him no thought occurs.’ If you know this,
spirit, then say so.

“I don’t understand,
lord, the detailed meaning of the Blessed One’s brief statement. It would be
good if the Blessed One would speak in such a way that I would understand the
detailed meaning of the Blessed One’s brief statement.”

[The Blessed One said:]

Whoever construes ‘equal,’ ’superior,’ or ‘inferior,’ by that he’d
dispute. Whereas to one unaffected by these three, ‘equal’ ’superior’ do not
occur. If you know this, spirit, then say so.

“I don’t understand,
lord, the detailed meaning of the Blessed One’s brief statement. It would be
good if the Blessed One would speak in such a way that I would understand the
detailed meaning of the Blessed One’s brief statement.”

[The Blessed
One said:]

Having shed classifications, gone beyond conceit, he has here cut
through craving for name & form: This one — his bonds cut through, free
from trouble, from longing — though they search they can’t find him, human
& heavenly beings, here & beyond, in heaven or any abode. If you know
this, spirit, then say so.

“Lord, here’s how I
understand the detailed meaning of the Blessed One’s brief statement:

In all the world, every world, you should do no evil with speech,
body, or mind. Having abandoned sensual pleasures — mindful, alert — don’t
consort with suffering & stress, with what doesn’t pertain to the
goal.”

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