AN VII 63 Concise Instruction

HeartDhamma

AN VII 63 Concise Instruction

 

Saṅkhitta Sutta #

 

Now, 

One of the monks approached the Awakened One, […]

Sitting down to beside him, the bhikkhu asked this:

 

[The Monk]

“For my own good Bhante,

Could the Awakened One teach me the Dhamma concisely.

Perhaps, having heard the awakened One’s words,

I could dwell alone, secluded, attentive, intent and resolute.[1]

 

[The Buddha]

“It is in this way that, sometimes, 

confused men come to me with such request.

Then, once I have explained the Dhamma, 

they only think of following me around.[2]

 

[The Monk]

“Teach me O Bhante, 

The Dhamma of the Awakened One, concisely,

Teach me O Happy One, the Dhamma, concisely.

 

Hopefully, listening to the words of the Awakened One, 

I can understand the meaning.

Hopefully keeping in mind the Wakeful One’s advice, 

I can be an heir [of the Dhamma].[3]

 

[Abandoning the Hindrances]

 

[The Buddha]

 

I this case, monk, you should train in this way:

 

I will develop a mind that is still and well-established within, [4]

And existing harmful, 

Unwholesome states of mind 

will not take over and settle. [5]

 

This is how you should train monk.

 

[Celestial Abodes] #

 

[1. Boundless Love] #

 

From there monk,

When the mind is still and well established within,

And existing harmful, 

Unwholesome states of mind 

do not take over and settle.

 

Then, you should train in this way:

 

“I will develop and cultivate the release of mind 

by Boundless Love:

 

Make it a vehicle,

Make it a foundation,

Practice it,

Accumulate it

And undertake it thoroughly.”[6]

 

This is how you should train monk.

 

While you develop and cultivate this meditation[7]

You should develop it:

 

With thinking and imagination,

Without thinking but with imagination,

Without thinking nor imagination,[8]

 

With joy,

Without joy, [9]

With constant delight,

With constant calm. [10]

 

[2. Boundless Compassion] #

 

At that time,

When this meditation has been developed, 

Well developed, you should train yourself:

 

“I will develop and cultivate the release of mind 

by Boundless Compassion;

 

Make it a vehicle, 

Make it a foundation, 

Practice it, 

Accumulate it 

And undertake it thoroughly.”

 

This is how you should train monk.

 

While you develop and cultivate this meditation, 

You should develop it:

 

With thinking and imagination,

Without thinking but with imagination,

Without thinking nor imagination,

 

With joy,

Without joy,

With constant delight,

With constant calm.

 

[3. Boundless Joy] #

 

When this meditation has been developed, 

Well developed, you should train:

 

“I will develop and cultivate the release of mind 

by Boundless Joy;

 

Make it a vehicle, 

Make it a foundation, 

Practice it, 

Accumulate it 

And undertake it thoroughly.”

 

This is how you should train bhikkhu.

 

While you develop and cultivate this meditation, 

You should develop it:

 

With thinking and imagination,

Without thinking but with imagination,

Without thinking nor imagination,

 

With joy,

Without joy,

With constant delight,

With constant calm.

 

[4. Boundless Calm] #

 

When this meditation has been developed, 

Well developed, you should train:

 

“I will develop and cultivate the release of mind 

by Boundless Calm;

 

Make it a vehicle, 

Make it a foundation, 

Practice it, 

Accumulate it 

And undertake it thoroughly.”

 

This is how you should train bhikkhu.

 

While you develop and cultivate this meditation, 

You should develop it:

 

With thinking and imagination,

Without thinking but with imagination,

Without thinking nor imagination,

 

With joy,

Without joy,

With constant delight,

With constant calm.

                                    

 

[Four Resting Places of Awareness] #

 

[1. Body as body] #

 

At that time bhikkhu,

When this meditation has been developed, well developed, you should train:

 

I will meditate, 

Resting awareness upon body,[11]

Knowing it as only body,

Intent, fully aware and present,

Letting go of tension and distractions.

 

This is how you should train bhikkhu.

 

While you develop and cultivate this meditation, 

You should develop it:

 

With thinking and imagination,

Without thinking but with imagination,

Without thinking nor imagination,

 

With joy,

Without joy,

With constant delight,

With constant calm.

 

[2. Sensations as Sensations] #

 

When this meditation has been developed, 

Well developed, you should train:

 

I will meditate, 

Resting awareness upon sensations,

Knowing them as only sensations,

Intent, fully aware and present,

Letting go of tension and distractions.

 

This is how you should train bhikkhu.

 

While you develop and cultivate this meditation, 

You should develop it:

 

With thinking and imagination,

Without thinking but with imagination,

Without thinking nor imagination,

 

With joy,

Without joy,

With constant delight,

With constant calm.

 

[3. Mind as Mind] #

 

When this meditation has been developed, 

Well developed, you should train:

 

I will meditate, 

Resting awareness on mind,

Knowing it as only mind,

Intent, fully aware and present,

Letting go of tension and distractions.

 

This is how you should train monk.

 

 

While you develop and cultivate this meditation, 

You should develop it:

 

With thinking and imagination,

Without thinking but with imagination,

Without thinking nor imagination,

 

With joy,

Without joy,

With constant delight,

With constant calm.

 

[4. Dhamma as Dhamma] #

 

When this meditation has been developed, 

Well developed, you should train:

 

I will meditate, 

Resting awareness upon mental states,

Knowing them as only mental states,

Intent, fully aware and present,

Letting go of tension and distractions.

 

This is how you should train bhikkhu.

 

While you develop and cultivate this meditation, 

You should develop it:

 

With thinking and imagination,

Without thinking but with imagination,

Without thinking nor imagination,

 

With joy,

Without joy,

With constant delight,

With constant calm.

 

[Wherever at Ease] #

 

When [all] these meditations has been developed, well developed:

 

Wherever you go, you will go at ease[12].

Wherever you stand, you will stand at ease,

Wherever you sit, you will sit at ease,

Wherever you lay down, you will lay down at ease.

 

[Awakening] #

 

Then, the monk,

Instructed in such a way by the Awakened One,

Stood up, rightly paid homage to him and then left.

 

Then, the monk, dwelling alone, 

Secluded, 

Attentive, 

Intent 

And resolute, 

 

In no long time, 

Attained the purpose for which 

Sons of good families

Honestly leave their home 

And become homeless [seekers], 

Seeking for the highest,

 

The complete perfection of the holy life.[13]

 

And having realized the Dhamma by his own direct knowledge,

 

He abided in it.

 

He directly knew: 

Rebirth is vanquished,

Lived is the holy life,

Done was what should be done,

There is no more conceit here[14].

 

And the monk became another one of the Arahants.

 

 

 


[1] Eko vūpakaṭṭho appamatto ātāpī pahitatto vihareyyan: Quite standard statement for the duty and practice of a monk.

[2] Anubandhitabbaṃ maññantī

[3] Dāyāda mf(n). one who inherits; an heir. An heir of the Dhamma: An Arahant.

[4] Ajjhattaṃ me cittaṃ ṭhitaṃ bhavissati susaṇṭhitaṃ.

[5] Allusion to Sammā-Vāyamo: Wise Practice or Sammāppadāna: Wise Endeavor.

[6] ‘Mettā me cetovimutti bhāvitā bhavissati bahulīkatā yānīkatā vatthukatā anuṭṭhitā paricitā susamāraddhā’ti. Here again, a fairly common and meaningful statement of the Buddha on how to properly cultivate meditation. This means more than just sitting meditation, this means “all the time, genuinely, whole-heartedly, while walking, standing, sitting, lying down”, this is the “proper” here.

[7] Samādhi

[8] Savitakkampi savicāraṃ bhāveyyāsi, avitakkampi vicāramattaṃ bhāveyyāsi, avitakkampi avicāraṃ bhāveyyāsi,

[9] Sappītikampi bhāveyyāsi, nippītikampi bhāveyyāsi

[10] Sātasahagatampi bhāveyyāsi, upekkhāsahagatampi bhāveyyāsi. Upekkhā : Often translated as “Equanimity”, I prefer poise, grace, calm, stability, confidence, self-composure, steadiness. R.D. calls it self-possession. Poise: late Middle English (in the sense ‘weight’): from Old French pois, peis (noun), peser (verb), from an alteration of Latin pensum ‘weight’, from the verb pendere ‘weigh’. From the early senses of ‘weight’ and ‘measure of weight’ arose the notion of ‘equal weight, balance’, leading to the extended senses ‘composure’ and ‘elegant bearing’. (Oxford American College Dictionary)

[11] Kāye kāyānupassī viharissāmi: Anupassī as “resting the mind” on either one of the four foundations (Satipaṭṭhāna), simply being aware, without being involved in the process. Not “my” body, but simply knowing: “this is body”. Instantly relaxing any tension that might pull one away from this passive awareness.

[12] Phāsu: ease; comfort. (adj.) comfortable; easy.

[13] Brahmacariyapariyosānaṃ

[14] Nāparaṃ itthattāyā: distortion of this word is icchatta.

 

This is a gift of Dhamma

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