AN V 27 Immeasurable Samādhi

AN V 27 Immeasurable Samādhi


Samādhi Sutta




Being wise and continuously present,

Develop meditation [1] that is immeasurable.”[2]


“Monks, doing so, five different understandings are known to arise.”


What Five?

One understands: 


(1) “This present samādhi is blissful 

and results in future happiness.”[3]


(2) “This samādhi is wise and beyond material.”


(3) “This samādhi is not practiced by unrighteous persons.”


(4) “This samādhi is peaceful, sublime, 

obtained through calming down, 

attained by mental unity, 

not by forcefully holding back and pushing away.[4]


(5) “I am aware while entering it 

and aware while emerging from it.



Monks, being wise and continuously present,

develop meditation that is immeasurable.[5]



When, monks, being wise and continuously present,

You develop the meditation that is immeasurable,

These five different understandings are known to arise.



[1] Samādhi: Depending on the context, I translate the word “samādhi” as “meditation” or “mental stillness” or “peace of mind.” But since there are no real english word properly fitting, and since its very high importance in the Buddha’s Teaching, I prefer to leave it as it is: Samādhi. Perhaps the word could be added to the English vocabulary.

[2] Appamāṇā Samādhi: The immeasurable Samādhi is usually associated with the Brahmāviharas (Loving-Kindness, Compassion, Joy and Mental Steadiness). It can also be interpreted as the state of a mind without greed, hatred or delusion. “Greed, hate, and delusion are makers of limits. A monk who has made an end of the defilements, has given these up, cut them off at the root, made them like a palm stump and obliterated them, so they are unable to arise in the future. The unshakable mind release is said to be the best kind of limitless mind release. That unshakable mind release is empty of greed, hate, and delusion.” -SN 41.7 Godatta Sutta 

[3] ‘Ayaṃ samādhi paccuppannasukho ceva āyatiñca sukhavipāko’ti paccattaññeva ñāṇaṃ uppajjati,

[4] ‘Ayaṃ samādhi santo paṇīto paṭippassaddhaladdho ekodibhāvādhigato, na sasaṅkhāraniggayhavāritagato’ti paccattaññeva ñāṇaṃ uppajjati. Niggaṇhāti [Sk. nighṇāti, ni+gaṇhāti] 1. to hold back, restrain— Opp. paggaṇhāti. — 2. to rebuke, censure. Vārita [pp. of vāreti, Caus. of v1] obstructed, hindered; restrained

Vāreti [Caus. of vuṇāti, representing v1 (to enclose, obstruct), as well as v1 (to choose)] 1. to prevent, obstruct, hinder (vārayissaṁ I had the habit of obstructing

[5] Sato kho panāhaṃ imaṃ samāpajjāmi sato vuṭṭhahāmīti paccattaññeva ñāṇaṃ uppajjati.