AN V 28 Fivefold Perfect Samādhi

HeartDhamma

AN V 28 Fivefold Perfect Samādhi

 

Pañcaṅgika Sutta #

 

 

“Monks, 

I will teach you

The development of the Ariyas’[1] 

fivefold wise Samādhi.” [2]

 

“Listen and attend carefully to what I will say.”

 

‘Yes Bhante’ the monks replied.

 

The Awakened one said this:

 

“How is this fivefold Wise Samādhi 

of the Ariyas developed?”

 

 

[1. First Jhāna] #

 

Letting go of all sensory engagement,

And letting go of unwholesome mental states,

Still attended by thinking and imagining,

With blissful happiness born of letting go.

 

One understands and abides 

in the first level of meditation.

 

[Instructions]

 

One immerses, permeates, 

Suffuses and pervades one’s body

With this blissful happiness born of letting go.

 

And nowhere, in one’s entire body is left untouched

By this blissful happiness born of letting go. 

 

 

[Simile of the Soap] #

 

Imagine a skilled soap-maker 

who would throw some soap powder into a copper bowl.

He would sprinkle it with water 

and knead it thoroughly.

 

Then after some time, 

The lump of soap would be filled 

And suffused by moisture, 

through and through, 

Everywhere, touched by the moisture,

Yet it would not leak.

 

In the same way,

One immerses, permeates, 

Suffuses and pervades one’s body,

With this blissful happiness born of letting go,

 

And nowhere in one’s entire body is left untouched

By this blissful happiness born of letting go. 

 

This, monks, is the first fold to develop 

this Fivefold Wise Samādhi of the Ariyas.

 

 

[2. Second Jhāna] #

 

With the calming of thinking and imagining,

With inner tranquilization,

One’s mind becoming unified,

Without thinking and imagining,

With the blissful happiness born of collected mental harmony,

 

One understands and dwells 

in the second level of meditation.

 

[Instructions]

 

One immerses, permeates, 

Suffuses and pervades one’s body,

With this blissful happiness born of collected mental harmony,

 

And nowhere in one’s entire body is left untouched 

By this blissful happiness born of collected mental harmony.

 

 

[Simile of the Lake] #

 

Imagine, a deep lake, 

With water, only welling up from within,

With no other source flowing in, 

from the East or from the West, 

from the North or from the South.

With no rain at any time.

 

From that cool water spring gushing up from within, 

That lake would become immersed, permeated, 

Suffused and pervaded by this fresh and cool water.

 

And nowhere in this entire lake 

Would be left untouched by this cool spring water.

 

In the same way,

One immerses, permeates, 

Suffuses and pervades one’s body,

With this blissful happiness born of collected mental harmony,

 

So that nowhere in one’s entire body is left untouched

by this blissful happiness born of collected mental harmony.

 

This, monks, is the second fold to develop 

this fivefold Wise Samādhi of the Ariyas.

 

 

[3. Third Jhāna] #

 

With the calming of [stronger] joy,

One abides in mental steadiness,

Present and fully aware,

Experiencing ease within his body,

A state which the awakened ones describe as:

“Steady presence of mind: 

This is a pleasant abiding.”

 

One understands and abides 

in the third level of meditation.

 

[Instructions]

One immerses, permeates,

suffuses and pervades one’s body,

with that ease beyond [stronger] joy.[3]

 

And nowhere in one’s entire body is left untouched 

by the ease beyond [stronger] joy.

 

 

[Simile of the Lotuses] #

 

Imagine water lilies, 

Indian lotuses and white lotuses…

 

Some of these water lilies, 

Indian lotuses and white lotuses 

are born in the water, 

grown in the water, 

not risen above the water, 

nourished while completely immersed.

 

From their very tip down to their roots,

submerged, permeated, 

suffused and pervaded by this cool water, 

so that no part of those Water Lilies, 

Indian Lotuses and White Lotuses is left untouched 

by cool water.

 

In the same way,

one immerses, permeates, 

suffuses and pervades one’s body,

with that ease beyond [stronger] joy.

 

And nowhere in one’s entire body is left untouched 

by this ease beyond [stronger] joy.

 

This, monks, is the third fold to develop 

this fivefold Wise Samādhi of the Ariyas.

 

 

[4. Fourth Jhāna] #

 

Later on,

Unattached to pleasant experiences,

Unstirred by unpleasant experiences, 

With the settling of excitement and disturbances,

Balanced in regards to all sensations,

Purified by unmoving presence,

 

One understands and abides 

in the fourth level of meditation. [4]

 

[Instructions]

One sits, with one’s body suffused

With the bright purity of one’s own spotless mind.

 

And nowhere in one’s body is left untouched

By this bright purity of one’s own spotless mind.

 

 

[Simile of the Cloth] #

 

Imagine a man was sitting

Wrapped up to the head 

With a sparkling white cloth

 

So that nowhere on his entire body

Would be left untouched 

By this sparkling white cloth.

 

In the same way,

One sits, with one’s body suffused

With that bright purity 

Of one’s own spotless mind,

 

And nowhere in one’s entire body is left untouched

By this bright purity of one’s own spotless mind.

 

This, monks, is the fourth fold to develop 

this fivefold Wise Samādhi of the Ariyas.

 

 

[5. Reflecting on States] #

 

Later on,

One thoroughly undertakes the skill of self-reflection [5]

Gives proper attention

Continually upholding it,

And renders it intuitive through discernment. [6]

 

 

[Analogy of the Postures] #

Monks, just as if,

Someone would look upon somebody else, or

Standing, one would look at someone sitting, or 

Sitting, one would look at someone laying down. [7]

 

 

In the same way monks, 

One thoroughly undertakes the skill of self-reflection

Gives proper attention

Continually upholding it,

And renders it intuitive through discernment.

 

This, monks, is the fifth fold to develop 

this fivefold Wise Samādhi of the Ariyas.

 

֎

 

[Direct Knowledge] #

Developed in this way monks,

If a meditator often practices 

this fivefold Wise Collectedness of mind,

 

Whatever things can be known via direct knowledge,

If one were to direct and incline one’s mind towards it,

 

One is able to witness with one’s own eyes

anything in that place. [8]

 

 

[Simile of the Jar]

 

Monks, just as a jar of water 

which was full to the brim,

up to the crows, 

was placed onto a stand

 

Then a strong man would tilt it this way or that way.

 

Would that water follow and leak in that direction?

 

“Yes Bhante”

 

Similarly, 

When this fivefold Wise Collectedness of mind is 

Developed and continually practiced;

 

Whatever things can be known via direct knowledge,

If one were to direct and incline one’s mind towards it,

 

One is able to witness with one’s own eyes

anything in that place.

 

[Simile of the Pond]

 

Monks, just as on a flat piece of land 

there was a man-made pond,

Enclosed by an embankment all around,

Which was full of water to the brim, 

up to the crows.

 

Then a strong person came 

and broke loose and released the bank 

over here or over there.

 

Would the water follow and leak in that direction?

 

“Yes Bhante.”

 

Similarly, 

When this fivefold Wise Collectedness of mind is 

Developed and continually practiced 

 

Whatever things can be known via direct knowledge,

If one were to direct and incline one’s mind towards it,

 

One is able to witness with one’s own eyes

anything in that place.

 

 

[Simile of the Chariot]

 

‘Just as if there were,

on flat grounds,

at a crossroad,

A chariot tied to swift horses,

 standing,

with a goad ready.

 

Then a skilled charioteer,

a trainer of horses, would climb in:

 

He would grab the reins in his left hand,

Grab the goad in his right hand,

And he could go wherever he liked.’

 

Similarly, 

When this fivefold Wise Collectedness of mind is 

Developed and continually practiced 

 

Whatever things can be known via direct knowledge,

If one were to direct and incline one’s mind towards it,

 

One is able to witness with one’s own eyes

anything in that place.

 

[Countless Mental Abilities]

 

If one wishes, one thinks:

 

What if I were to realize countless mental abilities?

 

  1. Having been one, one becomes many;

Having been many, one becomes one.

 

  1. One appears and disappears,

Goes through walls, 

Ramparts,

And mountains, 

Without touching them 

Like through space;

 

  1. One comes in and out of the earth, 

Just as in water;

 

  1. One walks on water without breaking its surface, 

Just as on land;

 

  1. One flies about, cross-legged, through the air 

Jus as the birds fly;

 

  1. One seizes and rubs with one’s hand

The sun and the moon, 

Ss mighty and majestic as they are;

 

  1. And one masters this very body as far as the Brahmic planes.

 

One is able to witness

with one’s own eyes

anything in that place.

 

[Cosmic Clairaudience]

 

I one wishes, one think:

 

‘What if I were, with cosmic Clairaudience,

which is bright and surpasses the human plane,

hear both sounds of the celestial planes 

and the human one,

Whether far away or near.’

One is able to witness

with one’s own eyes

anything in that place.

 

 

[Discerning the Mind of Others]

 

If one wishes, one thinks:

 

What if I were to discern and understand in one’s mind, 

The mind of other beings and persons?

 

One understands when mind is desiring: 

Mind is desiring. 

When mind is free of desire, one understands: 

Mind is free desire.

 

When mind is angry, one understands: 

Mind is angry.

When mind is free from anger, one understands: 

Mind is free of anger.

 

When mind is deluded, one understands: 

Mind is deluded.

When mind is undeluded, one understands: 

Mind is undeluded.

 

When mind is constricted, on understands: 

Mind is constricted.

When mind is scattered, one understands: 

Mind is scattered.”

 

When mind is expansive, on understands: 

Mind is expansive.’

When mind is unexpansive, one understands: 

Mind is unexpansive.

 

When mind has more to do, one understands: 

Mind has more to do.

When mind has no more to do, one understands: 

Mind has no more to do.

 

When the mind is harmonious, one understands: 

Mind is harmonious.

When mind is disharmonious, one understands: 

Mind is disharmonious.’

 

When mind is Liberated, one understands: 

‘Mind is liberated.’

When the mind is not liberated, one understands: 

‘Mind is not liberated.’

 

One is able to witness with one’s own eyes anything in that place.

 

[Knowing of Past Lives]

 

If one wishes, one thinks:

 

‘What if I were to remember countless previous lives, like this:

 

One birth, two births, three births, four births, five births;

Ten births, twenty births, thirty births, forty births, fifty births,

A hundred births, a thousand births, a hundred thousand births,

Countless aeons of expansion, countless aeons of contraction,

Countless aeons of expansion and contraction [of the universe].

 

[Seeing], In that life, 

This was my name, this was my ancestry, 

This was my appearance, this was my food, 

This was how I experienced pleasure and pain, 

And this is how I grew old; 

 

Passing away from there, I appeared elsewhere.

 

In this other place, 

This was my name, this was my ancestry, 

This was my appearance, this was my food, 

This was how I experienced pleasure and pain, 

This is how I grew old;

 

Passing away from there… I appeared here.

 

In this way, I recalled my countless past lives,

with their particular context and characteristics.

 

One is able to witness with one’s own eyes anything in that place.

 

[Cosmic Sight]

 

If one wishes, one thinks:

 

‘What if I were, 

With the clarity of the cosmic sight 

Which goes beyond the human state,

To see beings passing away and reappearing,

Vile and excellent, 

Well-proportioned and disproportioned, 

happy and miserable,

 

to see that beings fare on according to their actions.

 

Clearly, to see, living beings who were

Unrighteous in their physical actions,

Unrighteous in their verbal actions,

Unrighteous in their mental actions,

 

Who were disrespectful to the awakened sages,

Holding on to unwise opinions,

and taking action based upon unwise opinions.

 

When they separated from their bodies, after death,

The reappeared in the realms of the fallen, 

In realms of misery, 

In the planes of ruin, 

The planes of destruction.

 

Clearly, to see living beings who were

Righteous in their physical actions,

Righteous in their verbal actions,

Righteous in their mental actions,

 

Who held the awakened sages in esteem,

Endowed with wise understanding

and took action based upon wise understanding,

 

When they separated from their bodies, after death,

They reappeared in a realm of bliss, in the celestial abodes.

 

 

With the clarity of the cosmic sight 

which goes beyond the human state,

to see beings passing away and reappearing,

Vile and excellent, 

Well-proportioned and disproportioned, 

happy and miserable,

 

To see that beings fare on according to their actions

 

 

One is able to witness 

with one’s own eyes 

anything in that place.

 

[Knowing of Ending of the Distractions]

 

I one wishes, one thinks:

 

‘What if I were, 

With the stilling of the distractions, 

Understand and abide in the undistracted 

Liberation of the heart,

Liberation by discernment,

 

Realizing it for myself here and now.’[9]

 

And one would be able to witness 

with one’s own eyes, anything in that place.


[1] Ariya: Interesting synonyms for ‘righteous.’ Conscientious, ethical, honorable, law abiding, noble, pure, spiritual, upright, virtuous, angelic, blameless, charitable, commendable, deserving, devoted, devout, dutiful, exemplary, fair, faithful, guiltless, holy, irreproachable, just, laudable, matchless, meritorious, moral, peerless, praiseworthy, punctilious, reverent, right minded, saintly, inless, trustworthy, worthy.

[2] “Ariyassa, bhikkhave, pañcaṅgikassa sammāsamādhissa bhāvanaṃ desessāmi.

[3] nippītikena sukhena

[4] sukhassa ca pahānā, dukkhassa ca pahānā pubbeva somanassadomanassānaṃ atthaṅgamā adukkhamasukhaṃ upekkhāsatipārisuddhiṃ catutthaṃ jhānaṃ upasampajja viharati—

[5] AN X 51. Sacitta Sutta (Also 52-53). SN 36.31 Nirāmisa Sutta Reviewing one’s mind that is freed from greed, hate and delusion. Also at MN 61 Ambalaṭṭhikarāhulovāda Sutta, the advice to Rāhula, his son, the Buddha asks ‘What is the purpose of a mirror?’, ‘Reflection’ is the reply. And that all people who purify their actions do so by repeated reflection. At AN V 149. Paṭhamasamayavimutta Sutta, Part of the things that prevent decline, reviewing the extent to which one’s mind is liberated. In DN 34 Dasuttara Sutta, in the ‘fives’, we find the things that should be developed: Katame pañca dhammā bhāvetabbā? Pañcaṅgiko sammāsamādhi—pītipharaṇatā, sukhapharaṇatā, cetopharaṇatā, ālokapharaṇatā, paccavekkhaṇanimittaṃ. Ime pañca dhammā bhāvetabbā. (2) Some have made and interesting remark about the possibility that this ‘paccavekkhaṇānimittaṃ’ depending on the original sandhi could also mean ‘paccavekkhaṇa-animittaṃ’ reviewing or reflecting on the signless, which is a fairly interesting and valid approach aswell. Though it seems like it is not always spelled in this way, with the macron over the ‘a.’’ ‘Reviewing also occurs to yasa, the first lay person to attain Arahantship under the Buddha, in his story recounted in the Mahāvagga (Vinaya IV): “Then while the father of Yasa, the young man of family, was being taught dhamma, as he142 was reviewing his stage (of knowledge) as it was seen, as it was known, his mind was freed from the cankers without grasping.”

[6] bhikkhuno paccavekkhaṇānimittaṃ suggahitaṃ hoti sumanasikataṃ sūpadhāritaṃ suppaṭividdhaṃ paññāya.

[7] Aññova aññaṃ paccavekkheyya, ṭhito vā nisinnaṃ paccavekkheyya, nisinno vā nipannaṃ paccavekkheyya.

[8] Evaṃ bhāvite kho, bhikkhave, bhikkhu ariye pañcaṅgike sammāsamādhimhi evaṃ bahulīkate yassa yassa abhiññāsacchikaraṇīyassa dhammassa cittaṃ abhininnāmeti abhiññāsacchikiriyāya, tatra tatreva sakkhibhabbataṃ pāpuṇāti sati sati āyatane.

[9] ‘āsavānaṃ khayā anāsavaṃ cetovimuttiṃ paññāvimuttiṃ diṭṭheva dhamme sayaṃ abhiññā sacchikatvā upasampajja vihareyyan’ti,

 

This is a gift of Dhamma

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