DN 9 Poṭṭhapāda: The Release from Awareness

DN 9 Poṭṭhapāda: The Release from Awareness

 

Poṭṭhapāda Sutta #

 

A teaching on the complete release from perceptual awareness,

The end-goal of the Buddha’s teaching, taking the seeker through the gradual training, the gradual release from perceptions in meditation, the entrance upon nirodha, the state of ultimate mind-freedom, and an exhaustive disambiguation on the fabricated, makeshift perception of a self.

 

 

Thus I have heard—

Once the Awakened One was living in Sāvatthi

At Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery in Jeta’s grove.

 

At that time,

The wanderer Poṭṭhapāda

was staying at the arena for debate,

In Queen Mallikā’s open-hall ashram,

Nestled amidst the tall pale-moon ebony trees,[1]

Together with a respected company

of some thirty wanderers.

 

Then, some time in that morning,

having dressed up

And taking his bowl and robe,

The Awakened One set out to Sāvatthi for alms.

 

Then the thought came to him:

“It is very early to go for alms in Sāvatthi.

Perhaps I could go to the arena for debate

where Poṭṭhapāda the wanderer is staying?”

And he did so.

[Unedifying Talks]

At that time,

Poṭṭhapāda and the company of wanderers

were sitting together,

Agitated,

Making an uproar,

A great deal of noise,

Talking about countless unedifying subjects,

animal talk: [2]

 

Such as talk about

Kings, thieves, prime ministers

Army, horror stories, battles,

Food, drinks, clothes, beds,

Jewelry, perfumes, family, vehicles,

Travel, towns, cities, countries,

Women, liquor, street gossip,

Water-well gossip,

Talk of the departed,

Talk about differences,

Speculations about the world,

Speculations about the sea,

Talk about this or that.[3]

 

Then Poṭṭhapāda saw the Buddha arriving from afar

And sought his own company to settle down:[4]

[Poṭṭhapāda]

“Be quiet good sirs,

Do not make a sound good sirs.”

“The recluse Gotama is coming this way.

The venerable delights in silence,

he speaks in praise of silence.

If he sees that our company is silent,

he might consider approaching us.”[5]

 

This being said, the wanderers fell silent.

Then, as the Buddha approached, Poṭṭhapāda said:

 

[Poṭṭhapāda]

“Come Bhante Bhagavan,

Welcome Bhante Bhagavan!”

 

“Alas Bhante, the Awakened One has come

out of his way to come here.

Please be seated Bhante Bhagavan,

a sitting place is prepared.”

The Bhagavan sat down on the prepared seat.

 

Then Poṭṭhapāda took a low seat next to him.

The Buddha asked:

 

“What were you talking about, sitting together here?

What talk was interrupted and left unfinished?”

 

[The Complete Release from Awareness] #

 

When this was said, Poṭṭhapāda replied:

“Leave aside this talk of ours Bhante.

It won’t be hard for the Awakened One to hear about this later.”

“Earlier in the day,

When many samaṇas and brāhmaṇas were here at the ashram,

all gathered and sitting together and this question arose:[6]

 

‘How is there, sirs, the complete release from awareness?’[7]

 

Some answered thus:

“A person’s awareness arises and disappears

Without a cause and without ground:

When it arises, one is aware.

When it ceases, one is unaware.”

 

This is how they explained it. (1)

 

Some others replied:

“Gentlemen, that is not how it works!

Awareness is a person’s Self.

And it comes and goes:

When it comes, one is aware.

When it goes, one is not aware.”

 

This is how they explained it. (2)

 

Some others said:

“Gentlemen, that is not how it works!

There are highly realized samaṇas and brāhmaṇas of great psychic abilities,

They draw awareness in people

and they withdraw it.

When they draw it in, one is aware.

When they draw it out, one is unaware.”

 

This is how they explained it. (3)

 

Some others said:

“Gentlemen, that is not how it works!

There are highly realized devatās

of great psychic abilities,

They draw awareness in people

 and they withdraw it.

When they draw it in, one is aware.

When they draw it out, one is unaware.”

 

This is how they explained it. (4)

 

Then we saw the Awakened One approaching,

intent and present,

and thought:

 

“This surely is the Buddha,

This surely is the Blissful One!”

 

He is wonderfully skilled in those matters,

The Awakened One is skillful,

He understands the complete release from awareness.”[8]

 

[Poṭṭhapāda]

“Bhante,

How does the complete release

from perceptual awareness come to be?”

 

[With a Cause]

 

[The Buddha]

“Poṭṭhapāda, those samaṇas and brāhmaṇas who say:

‘A person’s awareness arises and disappears

Without a cause, without ground.’

From the beginning, those are mistaken.

 

Why?

 

A person’s awareness arises and disappears.[9]

With a cause, with a support.

By practice, some perceptions arise,

By practice, some perceptions pass away.[10]

What is that practice?”

 

[The Gradual Training] #

[Arising of a Buddha & Arising of Faith]

The Awakened One said this:

“Poṭṭhapāda,

A Truth-Finder arises in the world

Truly worthy, Perfectly all-awakened […][11]

Endowed with righteous knowledge

and righteous behavior,

 

A Blissful One, Knower of the worlds,

Unsurpassed guide for those who seek peace,

Teacher of Devas and humans,

Awakened and Exalted.

[…]

He teaches the Dhamma which is

Beautiful in the beginning,

Beautiful in the middle,

Beautiful in the ending.

In the meaning and the phrasing.

 

He embodies and shines forth,

The completely perfected and utterly pure Spiritual life.

 

[…]

Then, this Dhamma is heard by someone,

Reborn in any family or country.

 

[…]

Having heard this Dhamma

That person acquires faith in the Buddha.

[…And one takes on the training…]

One lives,

Self-mastered and protected by the pātimokkha,

Continually living in righteous behavior,

Seeing danger in the smallest lapse of attention,

Undertaking the training in the virtues,

Skillfully conducted in physical and verbal actions,

Completely pure in living and good in nature,

Watchful over the doors of one’s sense faculties,

Possessed of presence and full awareness,

Happy and content.

[I. The Training in Virtue] #

 

[1. Wise Action]

 

[Good in Nature]

 

How is a seeker [12] good in nature?

One abandons hurting living beings,

One turns away from hurting living beings,

With neither stick nor sword.

One lives, considerate and kind,

Friendly and compassionate towards all living beings.

 

This constitutes one’s good nature.

 

One abandons the taking of what is not given,

One turns away from taking what is not given.

Taking only what is offered,

Expecting only what is offered.

One lives without stealing, with inner purity,

 

This constitutes one’s good nature.

 

One abandons [sexual misbehavior,]

[One lives content and at peace,]

[Not obsessed by physical attraction.]

This constitutes his good nature.

 

[2. Wise Speech]

One abandons speaking lies,

One turns away from speaking lies,

One is known to speak the truth,

Filled with truth, firm and trustworthy,

Not a deceiver of the world.

 

This constitutes one’s good nature.

 

One abandons hurtful speech,

One turns away from hurtful speech,

One does not repeat elsewhere

What one has heard here,

In order to divide the people here.

 

One does not repeat here,

What one has heard elsewhere,

In order to divide the people elsewhere.

 

One is a unifier of those who are divided,

A promoter of those who are united.

One enjoys harmony,

Delights in harmony,

Rejoices in harmony.

One speaks praise of making peace and harmony.

 

This constitutes one’s good nature.

 

One abandons coarse speech

One turns away from coarse speech.

Speaking with words that are polished,

Pleasant to the ear, loving,

Going to the heart and civilized,

Beloved and dear to many.

Such are the words that one speaks.

 

This constitutes one’s good nature.

 

One abandons meaningless talk,

One turns away from meaningless talk.

One is a speaker of words that are timely,

Factual and meaningful.

 

A speaker of Dhamma,

A speaker of Vinaya.

 

One speaks for the purpose of Laying Down the Burden.

 

Words that are appropriate,

Reasoned, well defined,

In connection with the meaning.

 

This constitutes one’s good nature.

 

[3. Wise Living]

One turns away from injuring

The seed kingdom and

The plant kingdom.

One is a one-meal eater,

Not eating in the evening,

One turns away from eating at improper times.

[…] [13]

 

[The Blameless Bliss of Virtue]

 

In this way, Great King,

For a seeker of a good nature,

There is no fear arising from anywhere,

Since one is protected by his virtue.

 

Just as,

For a highly celebrated king of the ruling caste,

Who has conquered his enemies [in the four directions],

There is no fear arising from anywhere,

And he lives, protected by his conquest.

 

In the same way,

For the good-natured seeker,

There is no fear arising from anywhere,

Because one is protected by one’s own virtue.

 

Following this entire body of Ariyas’[14] virtuous behavior,

One experiences within himself

a completely blameless happiness.

 

In this way Poṭṭhapāda, a seeker is of good nature. […] [15]

 

[II. The Training in Meditation] #

 

[4. Wise Practice & 5. Awareness]

 

[Mastery of the Sense Faculties]

 

How is a seeker, a gatekeeper of one’s sense faculties?

 

[The Eye]

Seeing a shape with the eye,

One does not dwell on it [with one’s mind],

Nor does one dwell on any of its features.

 

If one were to live with the visual faculty unprotected,

Longing, impatience and unskillful, unwholesome states

Would take over [one’s mind].

 

Thus, one practices for its mastery.

One protects the visual faculty.

One becomes skilled regarding the visual faculty.

 

[The Ear]

Hearing a sound with the ear,

One does not dwell on it [with one’s mind]

Nor does one dwell on any of its features.

 

If one were to live with the auditive faculty unprotected,

Longing, impatience and unskillful, unwholesome states

would take over [one’s mind].

 

Thus, one practices for its mastery.

One protects the auditive faculty.

One becomes skilled regarding the auditive faculty.

 

[The Nose]

Smelling an odor with the nose,

One does not dwell on it [with one’s mind]

Nor does one dwell on any of its features.

 

If one were to live with the olfactive faculty unprotected,

Longing, impatience and unskillful, unwholesome states

Would take over [one’s mind].

 

Thus, one practices for its mastery.

One protects the olfactive faculty.

One becomes skilled regarding the olfactive faculty.

 

[The Tongue]

Tasting a flavor with the tongue,

One does not dwell on it [with one’s mind]

Nor does one dwell on any of its features.

 

If one were to live with the gustative faculty unprotected

Longing, impatience and unskillful, unwholesome states

would take over [one’s mind].

 

Thus, one practices for its mastery.

One protects the gustative faculty.

One becomes skilled regarding the gustative faculty.

 

[The Body]

Touching a tangible with the body,

One does not dwell on it [with one’s mind]

Nor does one dwell on any of its features.

 

If one were to live with the body faculty unprotected,

Longing, impatience and unskillful, unwholesome states

would take over [one’s mind].

 

Thus, one practices for its mastery.

One protects the body faculty.

One becomes skilled regarding the body faculty.

 

[The Mind]

Aware of a mental object with the mind,[16]

One does not dwell on it [with one’s mind]

Nor does one dwell on any of its features.

 

If one were to live with the mind faculty unprotected,

Longing, impatience and unskillful, unwholesome states

would take over [one’s mind].

 

Thus, one practices for its mastery.

One protects the mental faculty.

One becomes skilled regarding the mental faculty.

 

[The Blameless Bliss of Self-Mastery]

 

Possessing this awakened self-mastery,

One experiences within oneself

A happiness that is completely blameless.

 

This is how a seeker

is a gatekeeper of one’s own sense faculties.

 

[Presence & Full Awareness]

 

How is a seeker present and fully aware?

One is fully conscious,

While going forward and coming back;

One is fully conscious,

Looking ahead and looking down;

One is fully conscious,

Moving and extending [one’s body];

One is fully conscious,

Wearing the saṅghāṭi,[17]

One’s bowl and one’s robes;

One is fully conscious,

While eating, drinking,

Chewing and swallowing;

One is fully conscious,

While evacuating and urinating;

One is fully conscious,

While walking, standing, sitting,

Sleeping and waking up,

Talking and keeping silent.

 

This is how a seeker is present and fully aware.

 

[Contentment]

 

How is a seeker content?

 

One is happy with robes to cover one’s body,

With alms food to satisfy one’s stomach.

 

Wherever one goes,

One sets out, taking only these things.

Just as birds, wherever they fly,

Take nothing but their wings,

And fly with themselves as only burden.

 

In the same way,

One is happy with robes to cover one’s body,

With alms food to satisfy one’s stomach.

Wherever one goes,

One sets out, taking only these things.

 

This is how Great King, a seeker is content.

 

[Seclusion]

 

Following the entire body of Ariyan good conduct,

Possessing this Ariyan mastery of the sense faculties,

Endowed with Ariyan presence and full awareness,

Attained to this Ariyan contentment,

 

One resorts to a secluded dwelling,

To the forest,

At the root of a tree,

On a hillside,

In some cave,

A refuge in the mountain,

A forest hut,

In the open air

Or on a pile of straw.

 

After having eaten, returning from alms round

One sits down with legs folded and one’s body upright.

Settling down, one attends with presence about oneself.

 

[Letting go of the Hindrances]

 

Abandoning longing for the world,

Dwelling with a mind void of longing,

One’s mind is cleansed from longing.

 

Abandoning hostility and hatred,

One dwells with a mind rid of hostility,

With heart-felt compassion towards all beings that live.

One’s mind is cleansed from hostility and hatred.

 

Leaving behind laziness and dullness of mind,

Dwelling with a mind void of laziness and dullness,

Perceiving clearly,

Present and fully aware,

One’s mind is cleansed from dull laziness.

 

Leaving behind agitation and worry,

One dwells, uplifted,

With an inwardly relieved mind,

One’s mind is cleansed from agitation and worry.

 

Leaving behind perplexity,

One dwells unperplexed,

Rid of uncertainty towards what is good,

One’s mind is cleansed of perplexity.

 

[…]

 

Just as if someone was in debt,sick,

imprisoned, in servitude,

on a wild desert journey;

This is how a seeker perceives

Carrying around the five hindrances within oneself.

 

***

 

Just as if one were freed from debt,

Freed from illness,

Freed from jail,

Freed from slavery,

Having come upon a haven on this earth;

This is how, a seeker perceives

the letting go of the five hindrances within oneself.

 

[Natural Samādhi] #

 

These five hindrances abandoned[18]

Seeing clearly within oneself, relief arises.

Because of that relief comes joy,

With an uplifted mind, ones body calms down,

With a calm body, one knows ease,

The happy mind becomes collected.

 

[First Jhāna] #

Disengaged from the outward desire,[19]

And detached from unwholesome mental states,

Still attended by thinking and reflection,

With the blissful happiness born of mental detachment,

One understands and abides 

in the first level of meditation.

The sensory perceptions that one previously had

fade away.

 

At that time,

There is a subtle but true perception of

Joy and happiness that comes letting go,

 

Then, one perceives this subtle but true
Joy and happiness that comes from letting go.[20]

 

In this way, some perceptions arise by practice,

Some perceptions fade away by practice.

 

This is the practice.[21]

 

[Second Jhāna] #

Then Poṭṭhapāda,

With the calming of thinking and reflection,

With inner tranquilization,

His mind becoming unified,

Without thinking and reflection,

With the blissful happiness born of mental stillness,

One understands and abides

in the second level of meditation

The perceptions of this subtle but true

joy and happiness that comes from letting go

that one previously had fade away.

 

At that time,

There is a subtle but true perception of

joy and happiness that come mental collectedness,

 

Then one perceives this subtle but true

joy and happiness that comes from mental collectedness.

 

In this way, some perceptions arise by practice,

Some perceptions fade away by practice.

 

That is the practice.

 

[Third Jhāna] #

With the calming of bliss,

Abiding in mental steadiness,

Present and fully aware,

Experiencing happiness within his body

That state, which the righteous ones describe as such:

‘Steady presence of mind: 

This is a pleasant abiding.’

One understands and abides in the third level of meditation.

 

The perceptions this subtle but true

joy and happiness that comes from mental collectedness

that one previously had fade away.

 

At that time,

There is a subtle but true perception of

the bliss of steady awareness,

 

Then, one perceives this subtle but true

joy and happiness of the bliss of steady awareness.

 

In this way, some perceptions arise by practice,

Some perceptions fade away by practice.

 

That is the practice.

 

[Fourth Jhāna] #

 

Letting go the notions of happiness and unhappiness.

With the earlier settling of mental gladness and affliction,

With neither pain nor pleasure,

Purified by unmoving presence,

One understands and abides in the fourth level of meditation.

 

The perceptions of this subtle but true

bliss of steady awareness

that one previously had fade away.

 

At that time,

There is a subtle but true perception

Beyond pleasant and unpleasant perceptions,

 

Then one perceives this subtle but true

Perception of pleasant and unpleasant.

In this way, some perceptions arise by practice,

 

Some perceptions fade away by practice.

 

That is the practice.

 

[5. The Plane of Endless Space] #

 

Later Poṭṭhapāda,

Having entirely gone beyond all perception of form,

With the awareness of sensory impact fading away,

Turning away from the awareness plurality,

Aware of Endless Space[22]

One understands and abides in the plane[23] of Endless Space.

The perceptions of physical reality

that one previously had fade away.

 

At that time,

The subtle but true perception of endless spaciousness come to be.

 

Then, one perceives this subtle but true

plane of endless spaciousness.

In this way, some perceptions arise by practice,

 

Some perceptions fade away by practice.

 

That is the practice.

 

[6. Plane of Endless Consciousness] #

 

Later Poṭṭhapāda,

Having gone entirely beyond the plane of endless space,

Aware of Endless Consciousness.[24]

One understands and abides in the plane of Endless Consciousness.

 

The perceptions of Endless spaciousness

that one previously had fade away.

 

At that time,

The subtle but true perception of

endless consciousness come to be.

 

Then, one perceives this subtle but true

endless consciousness.

In this way, some perceptions arise by practice,

 

Some perceptions fade away by practice.

 

That is the practice.

 

[6. Plane of Bare Awareness] #

 

Having gone entirely beyond the awareness

of endless consciousness,[25]

Aware of nothing [In particular].[26]

One understands and abides

in the plane of Bare[27] awareness.[28]

 

The perceptions of endless consciousness

that one previously had fade away.

 

At that time,

The perception of subtle but true Bare Awareness comes to be.

 

Then, one perceives this subtle but true Bare Awareness.

In this way, some perceptions arise by practice,

 

Some perceptions fade away by practice.

 

That is the practice.

 

[The Release from Experiential Awareness] #

 

Up to here Poṭṭhapāda,

One is conscious of one’s self[29]

And gradually, one stage after the other,

One contacts the beginning of perception [understanding]:[30]

 

‘Mental activity is worse for me,

Freedom from mental activity would be better.’[31]

‘If I were to incline or engage my mind in any way,

 

Theses perceptions would fade

And gross perceptions would be seen to arise.’

 

Therefore, one does not incline

nor engages one’s mind in any way.[32]

When, one does not incline nor forces one’s mind,[33]

 

Then, uninclined and disengaged,

those perceptions fade away,

And gross perceptions are not seen to arise.

One contacts Release.[34]

 

This is how Poṭṭhapāda,

the complete release from perceptual awareness

is understood and experienced, gradually.[35]

 

[The Buddha]

 

“What do you think Poṭṭhapāda?

Have you ever heard in the past about

the progressive experience and understanding

of the complete release from perceptual awareness?”

 

“Never Bhante.”

 

This is how I understood the words of the Awakened One:

 

‘Up to here Poṭṭhapāda, one is conscious of one’s self[36]

And gradually, one stage after the other,

One contacts the beginning of perception.

This thinking mind is worse for me,

The non-thinking mind would be better.

If I were to incline or force my mind in any way,

Theses perceptions would fade

the knowledge of gross perceptions would arise

 

Therefore, one does not incline or force one’s mind in any way.

Then, one does not incline nor forces one’s mind,

Then, uninclined and unforced,

those perceptions fade away,

And the knowledge of gross perceptions does not arise.

One contacts Release.

 

This is how Poṭṭhapāda,

the direct release from perceptual awareness

is understood and experienced, gradually.’

 

[The Buddha]

“That is right Poṭṭhapāda.”

 

[Perceptions] #

[The Starting Point of Perception]

 

[Poṭṭhapāda]

“Does the Awkenened One define

the beginning of perception[37]

 as singular?

Or does he define the it as plural?”[38]

[The Buddha]

“Poṭṭhapāda,

I define the beginning of perception

            As singular

            and plural.”

[Poṭṭhapāda]

“But how is it Bhante?”

[The Buddha]

“Poṭṭhapāda,

Whenever one experiences the cessation of a certain perception,[39]

That is the very tip of that perception.[40]

This is how I define the beginning of perception

As singular and as multiple.”

 

[Perceiving and Knowing]

[Poṭṭhapāda]

“Does perceiving arise first, then knowing,

Or does knowing arise first, then perceiving,

Or perceiving and knowing arise together?”[41]

[The Buddha]

“Poṭṭhapāda,

Perceiving arises first, then knowing,

Perceiving arises,

then one becomes aware [of what is perceived]. [42]

Then one understands:

‘Surely, it is grounded upon [43] this

that knowing becomes manifest. [44]

This is how it can be known,

That perceiving arises first, then knowing,

Perceiving arises, then one becomes aware [of what is perceived].” [45]

 

[Perceptions as Self]

 

[Poṭṭhapāda]

“Bhante, is Awareness a person’s Self?

Or awareness is one thing and the Self another?”[46]

 

[The Buddha]

“Poṭṭhapāda, what do you fall back to as a Self?”[47]

 

[Material Self]

[Poṭṭhapāda]

“I fall back to this gross self:

Which is material,

Made of the four elements

And fueled by material food.”[48]

 

[The Buddha]

“But supposing the existence of such a gross self Poṭṭhapāda,

Perceptions will be one thing and the self another.[49]

Here is another way it could be explained.

With such a self, that person would

At certain times discern the manifestation of some perceptions,

At other times, the cessation of these perceptions.”[50]

[Mental Self]

[Poṭṭhapāda]

“Bhante, I fall back to this mental Self;

With all of its parts and pieces,

Not lacking any capacities.”[51]

 

[The Buddha]

“But supposing the existence of such a mental self Poṭṭhapāda,

Perceptions will be one thing and the self another.

Here is another way it could be explained.

With such a Self that person would

At certain times discern the manifestation of some perceptions,

At other times, the cessation of these perceptions.”

 

[Immaterial Self]

 

[Poṭṭhapāda]

“Bhante,

I fall back to this Unmanifested self,

Made of perception.”[52]

[The Buddha]

“But supposing the existence of such an unmanifested Self Poṭṭhapāda,

Perceptions will be one thing and the self another.

Here is another way it could be explained.

With such a self that person would

At certain times discern the manifestation of some perceptions,

At other times, the cessation of these perceptions.”

 

[Poṭṭhapāda]

“But Bhante, is it ever possible for me to know:

If perceptions are a person’s self or

If perceptions are one thing and the self another?”[53]

 

[The Buddha]

“It is hard for you to understand Poṭṭhapāda,

Coming from a different understanding,

Some other belief system,

With a different purpose,

With a different practice,

from a different teaching,

If perceptions are a person’s self or

If perceptions are one thing and the self another.”[54]

 

[Unwise Speculations]

 

[Poṭṭhapāda]

“If it is difficult for me Bhante to know,

Coming from a different understanding,

Some other belief system,

With a different purpose,

Following a different practice,

From a different teaching,

Tell me:

‘Is the world eternal,

That being the only truth and otherwise is delusional?”[55]

[The Buddha]

“I do not answer this Poṭṭhapāda.”[56]

 

[Poṭṭhapāda]

“Then pray bhante:

‘Is the world not eternal, that being the only truth and otherwise is delusional?”

 

[The Buddha]

“That also I do not answer Poṭṭhapāda.”

 

[Poṭṭhapāda]

Then pray Bhante:

Does the world come to an end? […]

Is the world is endless? […]

The soul is the same as the body? […]

Is the souls is one thing, the self is another? […]

Does A truth finder exists after death? […]

Does A truth finder does not exist after death? […]

Does A truth finder exists and does not exist after death? […]

Does A truth finder neither exists nor does not exist after death?” […]

 

[The Buddha]

“That also I do not answer Poṭṭhapāda.”

 

[Poṭṭhapāda]

“What is the reason why the Buddha does not answer these questions?”

 

[The Buddha]

“Because it is not connected with the meaning,

Not connected to the Dhamma,

Not conducive to the spiritual life,

Not conducive to disengaging,

Calming down,

Release,

Tranquility,

Direct knowledge,

Complete awakening;

And it does not lead to Nibbāna.[57]

Those are the reasons why I do not answer these.”

 

[Poṭṭhapāda]

What does the Buddha teach then?

 

[The Buddha]

“Poṭṭhapāda, I teach:

To recognize tension

The origin of tension.

The calming of tension.

The path to calm the tension.”[58]

[Poṭṭhapāda]

“What is the reason why the Buddha teaches this?

 

[The Buddha]

“Because this is connected with the meaning,

Connected with the Dhamma,

Conducive to the spiritual life,

These are conducive to disengagement, calming down, release,

Calming down,

Release,

Tranquility,

Direct knowledge,

Complete awakening;

And it does lead to Nibbāna.[59]

This is the reason why I teach it.”

[Poṭṭhapāda]

“So it is Bhagavan, so it is Blissful One.[60]

The Awakened One may do what is timely for himself.”

Then the Awakened One then rose from his seat and left.

 

 

Then, soon after the Buddha had left,

The wanderers started talking together,

And they teased and made fun of Poṭṭhapāda:

 

[Wanderers]

“Whatever it is the Buddha says,

Poṭṭhapāda only complies saying:

 

‘So it is Bhagavan, so it is Blissful One.’

 

We only understood that the monk Gotama

did not explain anything that was for sure:[61]

Is the world eternal

Is it not?

Does the world come to an end?

Does it not?

Is the soul the same as the body?

Is the soul one thing and the body another?

Does a Truth finder exist after death?

Does it not?

Does he exist and not exist?

Does he neither exist nor not exist?

 

When this was said, Poṭṭhapāda replied:

 

“I also, sirs, understand that the samaṇa Gotama

did not explain much that was for sure:

Is the world eternal

I it not?

Does the world come to an end?

Does it not?

Is the soul the same as the body?

Is the soul one thing and the body another?

Does a Truth finder exist after death?

Does it not?

Does he exist and not exist?

Does he neither exist nor not exist?

 

But the Samaṇa Gotama ascribes a real,

tangible and factual path of practice.

It is rooted in Truth,

The Way of Truth.[62]

Why then should one like me not acknowledge

what was rightly said by the wise wanderer Gotama as rightly said?[63]

 

[Later with Citta]

 

[Uncertain]

After two or three days,

Citta, son of the elephant trainer

And the wanderer Poṭṭhapāda went to the Awakened One,

Having approached,

Citta paid loving respects to him and sat to the side.

But Poṭṭhapāda rejoiced with the Buddha.

Once their joyful talk and merry welcomes [64] was over,

He sat down to the side and then asked: [65]

 

[Poṭṭhapāda]

“Bhante, soon after the Buddha had left,

the wanderers started talking together,

And they teased me and made fun of me saying:

 

[Wanderers]

“Whatever it is the Buddha says,

Poṭṭhapāda only complies saying:

‘So it is Bhagavan, so it is Blissful One’…

[And recounted all that had taken place…]

 

[The Buddha]

“Poṭṭhapāda, all of these wanderers are blindfolded,

            they do not see.

But you are not like them, you are one who sees Poṭṭhapāda.”[66]

I have explained and taught

some things to be certain,

And I have also explained and taught

some things to be uncertain.[67]

 

What are the things I have explained as uncertain?

 

Poṭṭhapāda,

I have said that to affirm:

‘The world is eternal’

            is an uncertain thing.

To affirm:

‘The world is not eternal’

            is an uncertain thing.

To affirm:

‘The world comes to an end’

            is an uncertain thing.

To affirm:

‘The world does not come to an end’

            is an uncertain thing.

To affirm:

‘The soul is the same as the body’

            is an uncertain thing.

To affirm:

‘The soul and the body are different’

            is an uncertain thing.

To affirm:

‘The Truth-finder exist after death’

            is an uncertain thing.

To affirm:

‘The Truth-Finder does not exist after death,

            is an uncertain thing.

To affirm:

‘The Truth-Finder is and isn’t after death’

            is an uncertain thing.

To affirm:

‘The Truth-Finder neither is nor isn’t after death’

            is an uncertain thing.

Those are the things I have explained to be uncertain.

 

For what reason did I declare those things to be uncertain?

Because it is not connected with the meaning,

Not connected to the Dhamma,

Not conducive to the spiritual life,

Not conducive to disengaging,

Calming down,

Release,

Tranquility,

Direct knowledge,

Complete awakening;

And it does not lead to Nibbāna.

Those are the reasons why I do not answer these.

 

[Certain]

 

What are the things I teach and explain as being certain?

Poṭṭhapāda,

I teach and explain:

The discernment of tension as being certain.

The origin of tension as being certain.

The calming of tension as being certain.

The path to calm the tension as being certain.[68]

 

What is the reason why I teach and explain

those things as certain?

 

Because this is connected with the meaning,

Connected with the Dhamma,

Conducive to the spiritual life,

These are conducive to disengagement,

Calming down,

Release,

Tranquility,

Direct knowledge,

Complete awakening;

And it does lead to Nibbāna

 

This is the reason why I teach those things as being certain.

 

[Everlasting Happy Soul Dogma] #

 

[The Buddha]

“There are some samaṇas and brāhmaṇas

            who speak and think thus:

‘After death,

the Self exclusively experiences happiness,

it is without difficulties.’

Having approached them I asked:

Is it true that the venerable ones speak and think this:

‘After death,

the Self exclusively experiences happiness,

it is without difficulties.’

They replied: ‘Yes’.

Then I asked:

‘Did you venerable sirs,

See, know and experience this world

As an exclusively happy place?’

 

‘No’ they replied.

 

Then I asked:

‘Have you, venerable ones,

Ever known a single day or a single night

or even just half a day or half a night

That was exclusively happy in itself.’

 

‘No’ they replied

 

Then I asked:

‘Do you venerable ones know that

There is a path, there is a practice

By which an entirely happy world can be attained.’

 

‘No’ they replied.

 

Then I asked them:

‘Have you, venerable ones,

Heard the voice of devatās

Who came from an entirely happy world saying:

 

‘Practice the good way, gentlemen!

Practice the upright way gentlemen!

and an entirely happy world will come to be.

We gentlemen, practicing in this way,

Have come upon an entirely happy world.

 

‘No’ they answered.

What do you think Poṭṭhapāda,

Isn’t the speech of those samaṇas and brāhmaṇas

completely senseless?

 

[Poṭṭhapāda]

“Indeed Bhante.”

 

[Analogy of the Most Beautiful Girl]

 

[The Buddha]

“Just as if a man were to say:

‘I am in love and long for

the most beautiful girl in the country.’[69]

Then some would tell him:

‘Oh, dear man, that most beautiful girl of yours,

Do you know if she is from

the ruling caste,

the brāhmin caste,

the merchant or

the workers caste?

 

He would reply: ‘No’[70]

 

Then they would ask him:

‘But do you even know her first and last name,

If she is tall or short or medium,

If she is dark, brown or golden skinned,

What village, town or city she is from?

 

The man would reply: ‘No’

 

Then they would ask him:

‘Oh, dear man,

You do not actually know

Nor have you ever seen the one you love and desire?’

 

‘That is correct’ he would reply.

What do you think Poṭṭhapāda

Isn’t the speech of that man

completely senseless?[71]

 

[Poṭṭhapāda]

“Indeed Bhante.”

 

[The Buddha]

“There are some samaṇas and brāhmaṇas who speak and think thus:

‘After death,

the Self exclusively experiences happiness,

it is without difficulties…

[…Same as previous repetition…]

[Analogy of the Castle]

[The Buddha]

“Just as if there was a man preparing scaffolding

To build a castle [in the middle of a] busy intersection.[72]

 

Some people would ask him:

‘Oh, good man,

The scaffolding you are assembling

for this castle you want to build,

Do you know if that will be

the eastern wall,

the southern wall,

the western wall or

the northern wall?

Will it be a high wall

or a low rampart

or an average wall?’

 

That man would reply: ‘No’’

 

Then they would ask him:

‘Dear man,

You have never actually thought nor planned

That castle for which you are assembling this scaffolding?’

 

The man would answer: ‘That is correct.’

 

What do you think Poṭṭhapāda,

Isn’t the speech of that man

completely senseless?

 

[Poṭṭhapāda]

“Indeed Bhante.”

 

[The Buddha]

Similarly, there are some samaṇas and brāhmaṇas
who speak and think thus:

After death,

the Self exclusively experiences happiness,

it is without difficulties…

[Third time repeated]

 

[Three Kinds of Made-up Selves] #

 

[The Buddha]

“There are three made-up Selves[73] Poṭṭhapāda:

The physical made-up self

The Mental made-up self,

And the non-physical made-up self.[74]

What is the material made-up self?

It is material,

Made of the four elements

Which is fueled by material food.

This is the gross made-up self.

 

What is the mental made-up self?

It is material,

With all of its parts and pieces,

Not lacking any capacities.

That is the mental made-up self.

 

What is the immaterial made-up self?

It is the unmanifested Self,

Made of perception.

This is the immaterial made-up self.

 

[Teaching on Abandoning the Ego] #

 

[Abandoning the Material Self]

 

[The Buddha]

“Poṭṭhapāda, I teach the Dhamma

for the purpose of abandoning the material made-up self:

‘Practicing in this way,

Mental impurities come to be abandoned,

Bright mental states directly come to growth and fulfilment,[75]

And one reaches and remains

In the maturity and full development of discernment,

Here and now,

Having understood it by one’s own direct experience. [76]

 

It is possible that you might think Poṭṭhapāda:

‘When mental impurities come to be abandoned

Bright mental states directly coming to growth and fulfilment,

And one reaching and remaining

In the maturity and full development of discernment

Here and now,

Having understood it by one’s own direct experience;

This is no happy state to live in.[77]

 

That is not true Poṭṭhapāda,

this is how it should be seen:[78]

‘When mental impurities come to be abandoned

Bright mental states directly come to growth and fulfilment,

And one reaches and remains

In the maturity and full development of discernment

Here and now,

Having understood by one’s own direct experience.

Much relief and gladness are experienced,

Joy

Calm

Awareness,

And full consciousness;

And one abides in happiness.[79]

 

[Abandoning the Mental Self]

 

[The Buddha]

“Poṭṭhapāda, I teach the Dhamma

for the purpose of abandoning the mental made-up self:[80]

‘Practicing in this way,

Mental impurities come to be abandoned,

Bright mental states directly come to growth and fulfilment,

And one reaches and remains

In the maturity and full development of discernment,

Here and now,

Having understood it by one’s own direct experience.

 

It is possible that you might think Poṭṭhapāda:

‘When mental impurities come to be abandoned

Bright mental states directly coming to growth and fulfilment,

And one reaching and remaining

In the maturity and full development of discernment

Here and now,

Having understood it by one’s own direct experience;

This is no happy state to live in.

 

That is not true Poṭṭhapāda,

this is how it should be seen:

‘When mental impurities come to be abandoned

Bright mental states directly come to growth and fulfilment,

And one reaches and remains

In the maturity and full development of discernment

Here and now,

Having understood by one’s own direct experience.

Much relief and gladness are experienced,

Joy

Calm

Awareness,

And full consciousness;

And one abides in happiness.

 

[Abandoning the Immaterial Self]

 

[The Buddha]

“Poṭṭhapāda, I teach the Dhamma

for the purpose of abandoning the immaterial made-up self:

‘Practicing in this way,

Mental impurities come to be abandoned,

Bright mental states directly come to growth and fulfilment,

And one reaches and remains

In the maturity and full development of discernment,

Here and now,

Having understood it by one’s own direct experience.

 

It is possible that you might think Poṭṭhapāda:

‘When mental impurities come to be abandoned

Bright mental states directly coming to growth and fulfilment,

And one reaching and remaining

In the maturity and full development of discernment

Here and now,

Having understood it by one’s own direct experience;

This is no happy state to live in.

 

That is not true Poṭṭhapāda,

this is how it should be seen:

‘When mental impurities come to be abandoned

Bright mental states directly come to growth and fulfilment,

And one reaches and remains

In the maturity and full development of discernment

Here and now,

Having understood by one’s own direct experience.

Much relief

and gladness are experienced,

Joy,

Calm,

Awareness,

And full consciousness;

And one abides in happiness.

 

[Just ‘this’ is the Self] #

 

[Material]

 

[The Buddha]

If others come and ask you Poṭṭhapāda:

‘But friend, what is this material made-up self

That you explain in your teaching of the Dhamma

Which is to be abandoned?[81]

By which mental impurities come to be abandoned,

Bright mental states directly come to growth and fulfilment, […]?

They should be explained:

‘This very person’ Friend,

is this material made-up self [82]

that I explain in my teaching of the Dhamma

which is to be abandoned. […]’

[Mental]

 

[The Buddha]

If others come and ask you Poṭṭhapāda:

‘But friend, what is this mental made-up self

That you explain in your teaching of the Dhamma

Which is to be abandoned?

By which mental impurities come to be abandoned,

Bright mental states directly come to growth and fulfilment, […]?’

They should be explained:

‘This very person’ Friend,

is this material made-up self

that I explain in my teaching of the Dhamma

which is to be abandoned. […]’

[Immaterial]

 

[The Buddha]

If others come and ask you Poṭṭhapāda:

‘But friend, what is this immaterial made-up self

That you explain in your teaching of the Dhamma

Which is to be abandoned?

By which mental impurities come to be abandoned,

Bright mental states directly come to growth and fulfilment, […]?’

They should be explained:

‘This very person’ Friend,

is this material made-up self

that I explain in my teaching of the Dhamma

which is to be abandoned. […]’

What do you think Poṭṭhapāda,

Isn’t this explanation completely sensible and well grounded?[83]

            “Indeed Bhante.”

 

[Analogy of the Castle]

 

[The Buddha]

“Just as if a man

Was assembling some scaffolding to build a castle.

And that castle was right below it.[84]

Then some people would come and ask:

‘Good man, that scaffolding you are preparing to build your castle,

Do you know if that will be

the eastern wall,

the southern wall,

the western wall or

the northern wall?

Will it be a high wall or a low rampart or an average wall?

He would reply:

‘Friend, this right here, is the castle

For which I am assembling this scaffolding

And the castle is right below it, [don’t you see?].[85]

What do you think Poṭṭhapāda,

Isn’t this explanation completely sensible and well grounded?

            “It surely is Bhante.”

[Repetition on the Three Selves]

 

[The Buddha]

“If others come and ask you Poṭṭhapāda:

‘But friend, what is this material made-up Self, […]

[Same repetition as [Just this is the self]

What do you think Poṭṭhapāda,

Isn’t this explanation completely sensible and well grounded?

            “It surely is Bhante.”

 

[Citta’s Inquiry on the Self] #

When this was said,

Citta, the son of the elephant trainer asked:

 

[Citta]

“Bhante,

when there is mention of the physical made-up self,

At that time, are the mental made-up self

and the immaterial self not real:

And only the physical made-up self is true?[86]

“And, when there is mention of the mental made-up self,

At that time, are the material made-up self

and the immaterial self not real:

And only the mental made-up self is true?

“And, when there is mention of the non-physical made-up self,

At that time, are the material made-up self

and the mental self not real:

And only the non-physical made-up self is true?

[The Buddha]

“Citta, when there is mention of the physical made-up self,

At that time,

neither the mental made-up self,

nor the non-physical made-up self are taken into account,

At that time,

only the physical made-up self is taken into account.[87]

 

“Citta, when there is mention of

            the mentally created made-up self,

At that time,

neither the physical made-up self

nor the non-physical made-up self are taken into account,

At that time,

only the mentally created made-up self is taken into account.

 

“Citta, when there is mention

            of the non-physical made-up self,

At that time,

neither the physical made-up self

nor the mentally created made-up self are taken into account,

At that time,

only the non-physical made-up self is taken into account.

 

[The Buddha]

“Citta, if you were asked:

‘Did you exist in the past, or did you not exist;

Will you exist in the future, or will you not exist?

Do you exist at present, or do you not exist?

Thus asked, Citta, what would you answer?

 

[Citta]

“Bhante, if I was asked this, I would reply:

‘I existed in he past, I did not-not exist;

I will exist in the future; I shall not-not exist;

I exist at present, I do not-not exist.’

This would be my reply Bhante.

 

[The Buddha]

“If, Citta, you are ever asked:

‘Did you exist as the made-up self in the past,

Only, this made-up self of yours is real

The future one and the present one are not real?

Will you exist as the made-up self in the future,

Only, this made-up self of yours is real

The past one and the present one are not real?

Are you at present existing as the made-up self,

Only, this made-up self of yours is real

The past one and the future one are not real?’

If you were asked thus Citta,

what would you reply?

 

[Citta]

“If I was asked thus Bhante, […]

I would reply in this way:

‘I did exist as the made-up self in the past,

At that time, only, this made-up self of mine was real

The future one and the present one are not real.

I will exist as the made-up self in the future,

At that time, only, this made-up self of mine will be real

The past one and the present one are not real.

I do exist as the made-up self at present,

only, this made-up self of mine is real

The past one and the future one are not real.’

This is how I would reply Bhante.

 

[The Buddha]

“Citta, when there is mention of

the physical made-up self,

At that time,

neither the mental made-up self

nor the non-physical made-up self are taken into account,

At that time,

only the physical made-up self is taken into account.

“When there is mention of

the mentally created made-up self,

At that time,

neither the physical made-up self

nor the non-physical made-up self are taken into account,

At that time,

only the mentally created made-up self is taken into account.

“When there is mention of

the non-physical made-up self,

At that time,

neither the physical made-up self

nor the mentally created made-up self are taken into account,

At that time,

only the non-physical made-up self is taken into account.

 

[Analogy of the Ghee]

 

[The Buddha]

“Just as, Citta

From cows come milk,

From milk comes sour milk

From sour milk comes butter,

From butter comes ghee,

From ghee comes refined ghee.[88]

When we speak of milk, at that time,

We are neither speaking of sour milk,

            nor butter,

            nor ghee,

            nor refined ghee.

But at that time,

            we are speaking only of milk.

 

When we speak of sour milk, […]

When we speak of butter, […]

When we speak of ghee, […]

 

When we speak of refined ghee,

At that time, we are neither speaking of milk

nor sour milk,

nor butter,

nor ghee,

But at that time,

            we are speaking only of refined ghee.

 

[The Buddha]

“Citta, when there is mention of

the physical made-up self, […]

 

“Citta, when there is mention of

the mentally created made-up self, […]

 

“Citta, when there is mention of

the non-physical made-up self,

At that time, neither the physical made-up self

nor the mentally created made-up self are taken into account,

At that time, only the non-physical made-up self is taken into account.

And these Citta, are

Worldly conventions,

Worldly language,

Worldly manners of speech,

Worldly expressions;

Those, the Truth-Finder speaks without grasping to.[89]

When this was said, Poṭṭhapāda replied :

‘Excellent Bhante!

Excellent Bhante!’

 

Just as if what had fallen over had been set upright,

or as what had been hidden was uncovered,

or as if the way was shown to someone who was lost,

or as if a light was shone in the darkness, thinking:

“Let those with vision see!”

 

In the same way Bhante,

The Awakened One Has brought forth

And elucidated the Dhamma in countless ways.

 

Bhante,

I go to the Awakened One as a refuge

to the Dhamma and to the bhikkkhu saṅgha.

May the Awakened One count me

as a lay follower from now on,

who has gone for refuge for life.

 

[Citta’s Ordination] #

 

When this was said, Citta the son of the elephant trainer said:

‘Excellent Bhante!

Excellent Bhante!’

Just as if what had fallen over had been set upright,

or as what had been hidden was uncovered,

or as if the way was shown to someone who was lost,

or as if a light was shone in the darkness, thinking:

“Let those with vision see!”

 

In the same way Bhante,

The Awakened One Has brought forth

And elucidated the Dhamma in countless ways.

Respected Gotama,

I go to the Awakened One as a refuge

to the Dhamma

and to the bhikkkhu saṅgha.

 

I would like to go forth directly from master Gotama,

May I receive the higher ordination.

 

Then, Citta, the son of the elephant trainer received the going forth,

And received the higher ordination.

Then, the Venerable Citta;

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 [spiritual wanderers],

seeking for the highest:

The complete perfection of the holy life.

 

And having realized the Dhamma by his own direct knowledge,

He abided in it.

 

He directly knew:

The birth [of unwholesome states] is over,

Lived is the holy life,

Done is what should be done,

There is no more conceit here.

And the Venerable Citta, son of the elephant trainer

Became another one of the Arahants.

 

 

[1] poṭṭhapādo paribbājako samayappavādake tindukācīre

[2] Tena kho pana samayena poṭṭhapādo paribbājako mahatiyā paribbājakaparisāya saddhiṃ nisinno hoti unnādiniyā  uccāsaddamahāsaddāya anekavihitaṃ tiracchānakathaṃ kathentiyā.

[3] Rājakathaṃ corakathaṃ mahāmattakathaṃ senākathaṃ bhayakathaṃ yuddhakathaṃ annakathaṃ pānakathaṃ vatthakathaṃ sayanakathaṃ mālākathaṃ gandhakathaṃ ñātikathaṃ yānakathaṃ gāmakathaṃ nigamakathaṃ nagarakathaṃ janapadakathaṃ itthikathaṃ sūrakathaṃ visikhākathaṃ kumbhaṭṭhānakathaṃ pubbapetakathaṃ nānattakathaṃ lokakkhāyikaṃ samuddakkhāyikaṃ itibhavābhavakathaṃ iti vā.

[4] Addasā kho poṭṭhapādo paribbājako bhagavantaṃ dūratova āgacchantaṃ; disvāna sakaṃ parisaṃ saṇṭhapesi:

[5] “appasaddā bhonto hontu, mā bhonto saddamakattha. Ayaṃ samaṇo gotamo āgacchati. Appasaddakāmo kho so āyasmā appasaddassa vaṇṇavādī. Appeva nāma appasaddaṃ parisaṃ viditvā upasaṅkamitabbaṃ maññeyyā”ti.

[6] Purimāni, bhante, divasāni purimatarāni, nānātitthiyānaṃ samaṇabrāhmaṇānaṃ kotūhalasālāya sannisinnānaṃ  sannipatitānaṃ  abhisaññānirodhe kathā udapādi:

[7] ‘kathaṃ nu kho, bho, abhisaññānirodho hotī’ti?

[8] Tassa mayhaṃ, bhante, bhagavantaṃyeva ārabbha sati udapādi:’aho nūna bhagavā, aho nūna sugato, yo imesaṃ dhammānaṃ sukusalo’ti. Bhagavā, bhante, kusalo, bhagavā pakataññū abhisaññānirodhassa.

[9] Sahetū hi … sappaccayā purisassa saññā uppajjantipi nirujjhantipi.

[10] Sikkhā ekā saññā uppajjati, sikkhā ekā saññā nirujjhati.

[11] “Idha, poṭṭhapāda, tathāgato loke uppajjati  arahaṃ, sammāsambuddho … pe … The Pāḷi original text is here abridged.

[12] In this translation, the word “bhikkhu” which is the Pāḷi word for a “monk” is purposefully changed for the word “seeker” for the sake of universality. The teaching is usually addressed to monks, but anyone can undertake this practice.

[13] The long list describing virtuous behavior is here abridged since most of the list concerns monks.

[14] Ariya

[15] Evaṃ kho, poṭṭhapāda, bhikkhu sīlasampanno hoti … pe … The Pāḷi original text resumes with this one line and is abridged again.

[16] “Thinking” or “mind” is but another sense faculty which, like the others, we learn to calm down and not become so involved with it through meditation and letting go.

[17] The outer robe of a monk.

[18] This is where the Pāḷi original text resumes. Tassime pañcanīvaraṇe pahīne attani samanupassato pāmojjaṃ jāyati, pamuditassa pīti jāyati, pītimanassa kāyo passambhati, passaddhakāyo sukhaṃ vedeti, sukhino cittaṃ samādhiyati.

[19] So vivicceva kāmehi, vivicca akusalehi dhammehi, savitakkaṃ savicāraṃ vivekajaṃ pītisukhaṃ paṭhamaṃ jhānaṃ upasampajja viharati. There is no separation here between the natural samādhi sequence and the first jhāna. It all happens in one paragraph.

[20] Tassa yā purimā kāmasaññā, sā nirujjhati. Vivekaja-pītisukha-sukhuma-saccasaññā tasmiṃ samaye hoti, vivekaja-pītisukha-sukhum-asaccasaññīyeva tasmiṃ samaye hoti.

[21] Evampi sikkhā ekā saññā uppajjati, sikkhā ekā saññā nirujjhati. Ayaṃ sikkhā”ti bhagavā avoca.

[22] ‘Ananto ākāso’ti

[23] Āyatana (nt.) [Sk. āyatana, not found in the Vedas; but freq. in BSk. From ā + yam, cp. āyata. — 1. stretch, extent, reach, compass, region; sphere, locus, place, spot; position, occasion. — 2. exertion, doing, working, practice, performance. — 3. sphere of perception or sense in general, object of thought, sense — organ & object; relation, order. — Cpd. p. 183 says rightly: “āyatana cannot be rendered by a single English word to cover both sense — organs (the mind being regarded as 6th sense) and sense objects”.

[24] ‘Anantaṃ viññāṇan’ti. The insight here is that consciousness is endless, a seemingly never-stopping flux of mental proliferations. It is attached and attaching. Awareness is coupled and coupling to the vast manifold diversity of mental contacts and mental engagements. This force is conditioned, built up by way of engagement with the diversity. And mainly, this is happening on its own, like a river flowing; the river is not an entity, it is a concept for a certain mass of water percolating, agglomerating together because of the features of a landscape and moving downhill. The river of consciousness is not a personal entity, nor is it ‘controlled’ by ‘someone.’ It is simply an appellation for a certain mass of mental contacts moving towards ‘the world’ (ie. Downhill), which is conditioned by past actions (the landscape and slope).

[25] Con-sciousness: Knowledge combined with something, coupled with something. Whereas the plane of bare awareness is stripped from any theme. Here, awareness is starting to detach. Detaching from all objects.

[26] Kiñcana (adj.-nt.) [kiṁ+cana, equal to kiṁ+ci, indef. pron.] only in neg. sentences: something, anything.

[27] Without attributes, rid of possesions, uncoupled. Disinterested awareness. Unapplied, undirected.

[28] Ākiñcañña: Here, I am leaning towards using the word objectlessness since the classic translation of “Nothingness” can create some confusion in meditative practice. The plane of endless spaciousness and the plane between awareness and its release and the release from experiential awareness itself are often mistaken for one another in direct meditation practice. Ākiñcañña also could be termed here as featureless, without attribute, without possessions, without particular characteristics. At this point, the mind is practically resting upon itself. There is simply clear awareness, awareness of what? Clear awareness of nothing, that is why it is clear! (‘natthi kiñcī’ti ākiñcaññāyatanaṃ upasampajja viharati. One understand: “There is not anything.”) Awareness of mind as mind. Ākiñcañña (nt.) [abstr. fr. akiñcana] state of having nothing. absence of (any) possessions; nothingness (the latter as philosophical t. t.; cp. below °āyatana   akiñcana—of devotees who have nothing to do with the material world    SB 7.4.42  akiñcana—unalloyed Adi 10.66  akiñcana—without material possessions Madhya 22.78-80 akiñcana—without any attachment for anything material Madhya 22.93  akiñcanā—without any motive SB 5.18.12  akiñcanā—without motive Adi 8.58  akiñcanā—without material desires Madhy 22.76 (https://sanskritdictionary.org/akincana)

[29] Saka: Adjective. one’s own. (m.) a relation. (nt.) one’s own property.

[30] “Yato kho, poṭṭhapāda, bhikkhu idha sakasaññī hoti, so tato amutra tato amutra anupubbena saññaggaṃ phusati.

[31] Tassa saññagge ṭhitassa evaṃ hoti: ‘cetayamānassa me pāpiyo, acetayamānassa me seyyo.

[32] Ahañceva kho pana ceteyyaṃ, abhisaṅkhareyyaṃ, imā ca me saññā nirujjheyyuṃ, aññā ca oḷārikā saññā uppajjeyyuṃ; yannūnāhaṃ na ceva ceteyyaṃ na ca abhisaṅkhareyyan’ti.

[33] So na ceva ceteti, na ca abhisaṅkharoti.

[34] aññā ca oḷārikā saññā na uppajjanti. So nirodhaṃ phusati.

[35] Evaṃ kho, poṭṭhapāda, anupubbābhisaññānirodha-sampajānasamāpatti hoti.

[36] Saka: Adjective. one’s own. (m.) a relation. (nt.) one’s own property.

[37] Saññaggaṃ: Here the translation can take a few different roads as either ‘the beginning of perception’ or ‘the tip of perception’ (ārga) or ‘the highest perception’ or ‘the best of perceptions’ and variances of these. All of them make sense in their own particular ways. Agga1 (adj. n.) [Vedic agra; cp. Av. agrō first; Lith. agrs early] 1. (adj;) (a.) of time: the first, foremost (sangahaṁ first collection). See cpds. — (b.) of space: the highest, topmost, J i.52 (°sākhā). — (c.) of quality: illustricus, excellent, the best, highest, chief (agga-m-agga) most excellent.

[38] “Ekaññeva nu kho, bhante, bhagavā saññaggaṃ paññapeti, udāhu puthūpi saññagge paññapetī”ti?

[39] Nirodha: Dissolution, breaking up, fading away, release,

[40] “Yathā yathā kho, poṭṭhapāda, nirodhaṃ   phusati tathā tathāhaṃ saññaggaṃ paññapemi.

[41] “Saññā nu kho, bhante, paṭhamaṃ uppajjati, pacchā ñāṇaṃ, udāhu ñāṇaṃ paṭhamaṃ uppajjati, pacchā saññā, udāhu saññā ca ñāṇañca apubbaṃ acarimaṃ uppajjantī”ti?

[42] “Saññā kho, poṭṭhapāda, paṭhamaṃ uppajjati, pacchā ñāṇaṃ,  saññuppādā ca pana ñāṇuppādo hoti.

[43] Paccaya [fr. paṭi+i, cp. Ved. pratyaya & P. pacceti, paṭicca] lit. resting on, falling back on, foundation; cause, motive etc. See

[44] So evaṃ pajānāti: ‘idappaccayā kira me ñāṇaṃ udapādī’ti.

[45] Iminā kho etaṃ, poṭṭhapāda, pariyāyena veditabbaṃ—yathā saññā paṭhamaṃ uppajjati, pacchā ñāṇaṃ, saññuppādā ca pana ñāṇuppādo hotī”ti.

[46] “Saññā nu kho, bhante, purisassa attā, udāhu aññā saññā añño attā”ti?

[47] “Kaṃ pana tvaṃ, poṭṭhapāda, attānaṃ paccesī”ti?

[48] “Oḷārikaṃ kho ahaṃ, bhante, attānaṃ paccemi rūpiṃ cātumahābhūtikaṃ kabaḷīkārāhārabhakkhan”ti.

[49] “Oḷāriko ca hi te, poṭṭhapāda, attā abhavissa rūpī cātumahābhūtiko kabaḷīkārāhārabhakkho. Evaṃ santaṃ kho te, poṭṭhapāda, aññāva saññā bhavissati añño attā.

[50] Tiṭṭhateva sāyaṃ, poṭṭhapāda, oḷāriko attā rūpī cātumahābhūtiko kabaḷīkārāhārabhakkho, atha imassa purisassa aññā ca saññā uppajjanti, aññā ca saññā nirujjhanti.

[51] “Manomayaṃ kho ahaṃ, bhante, attānaṃ paccemi sabbaṅgapaccaṅgiṃ ahīnindriyan”ti.

[52] “Arūpiṃ kho ahaṃ, bhante, attānaṃ paccemi saññāmayan”ti.

[53] “Sakkā panetaṃ, bhante, mayā ñātuṃ: ‘saññā purisassa attā’ti vā ‘aññāva saññā añño attā’ti vā”ti?

[54] “Dujjānaṃ kho etaṃ, poṭṭhapāda, tayā aññadiṭṭhikena aññakhantikena aññarucikena aññatrāyogena aññatrācariyakena: ‘saññā purisassa attā’ti vā, ‘aññāva saññā añño attāti’ vā”ti.

[55] kiṃ pana, bhante, ‘sassato loko, idameva saccaṃ moghamaññan’”ti?

[56] “Abyākataṃ kho etaṃ, poṭṭhapāda, mayā:

[57] “Na hetaṃ, poṭṭhapāda, atthasaṃhitaṃ na dhammasaṃhitaṃ nādibrahmacariyakaṃ, na nibbidāya na virāgāya na nirodhāya na upasamāya  na abhiññāya na sambodhāya na nibbānāya saṃvattati,

[58] “Idaṃ dukkhanti kho, poṭṭhapāda, mayā byākataṃ. Ayaṃ dukkhasamudayoti kho, poṭṭhapāda, mayā byākataṃ. Ayaṃ dukkhanirodhoti kho, poṭṭhapāda, mayā byākataṃ. Ayaṃ dukkhanirodhagāminī paṭipadāti kho, poṭṭhapāda, mayā byākatan”ti.

[59] “Etañhi, poṭṭhapāda, atthasaṃhitaṃ, etaṃ dhammasaṃhitaṃ, etaṃ ādibrahmacariyakaṃ, etaṃ nibbidāya virāgāya nirodhāya upasamāya abhiññāya sambodhāya nibbānāya saṃvattati;

[60] “Evametaṃ, bhagavā, evametaṃ, sugata.

[61] ekaṃsikaṃ dhammaṃ desitaṃ ājānāma:

[62] api ca samaṇo gotamo bhūtaṃ tacchaṃ tathaṃ paṭipadaṃ paññapeti dhammaṭṭhitataṃ dhammaniyāmataṃ.

[63] Bhūtaṃ kho pana tacchaṃ tathaṃ paṭipadaṃ paññapentassa dhammaṭṭhitataṃ dhammaniyāmataṃ, kathañhi nāma mādiso viññū samaṇassa gotamassa subhāsitaṃ subhāsitato nābbhanumodeyyā”ti?

[64] -sāreti [fr. vi+ati+ s; not with Childers fr. sm; cp. BSk. vyatisārayati] to make pass (between), to exchange (greeting), to address, converse (kathaṁ), greet. Often in phrase sārāṇīyaṁ sammodanīyaṁ kathaṁ vītisāreti

[65] Sammodanīyaṃ kathaṃ sāraṇīyaṃ  vītisāretvā ekamantaṃ nisīdi.

[66] “Sabbeva kho ete, poṭṭhapāda, paribbājakā andhā acakkhukā; tvaṃyeva nesaṃ eko cakkhumā.

[67] Ekaṃsikāpi hi kho, poṭṭhapāda, mayā dhammā desitā paññattā; anekaṃsikāpi hi kho, poṭṭhapāda, mayā dhammā desitā paññattā. Ekaṁsika (adj.) [fr. ekaṁsa2] certain; an° uncertain, indefinite

[68] Idaṃ dukkhanti kho, poṭṭhapāda, mayā ekaṃsiko dhammo desito paññatto. Ayaṃ dukkhasamudayoti… Ayaṃ dukkhanirodhoti… Ayaṃ dukkhanirodhagāminī paṭipadāti …

[69] ‘ahaṃ yā imasmiṃ janapade janapadakalyāṇī, taṃ icchāmi taṃ kāmemī’ti.

[70] Tamenaṃ evaṃ vadeyyuṃ: ‘ambho purisa, yaṃ tvaṃ janapadakalyāṇiṃ icchasi kāmesi, jānāsi taṃ janapadakalyāṇiṃ khattiyī vā brāhmaṇī vā vessī vā suddī vā’ti? Iti puṭṭho ‘no’ti vadeyya.

[71] Taṃ kiṃ maññasi, poṭṭhapāda, nanu evaṃ sante tassa purisassa appāṭihīrakataṃ bhāsitaṃ sampajjatī”ti?

[72] “Seyyathāpi, poṭṭhapāda, puriso cātumahāpathe nisseṇiṃ  kareyya pāsādassa ārohaṇāya.

[73] Attapaṭilābhā: Made-up, fabricated, invented, tailormade, acquired, 2. Acquisition of, 3. Clinging to, attachment to?

[74] “Tayo kho me, poṭṭhapāda, attapaṭilābhā—oḷāriko attapaṭilābho, manomayo attapaṭilābho, arūpo attapaṭilābho.

[75] Vodāniyā dhammā abhivaḍḍhissanti: Vodāna (nt.) [fr. vi+ava+dā4 to clean, cp. BSk. vyava-dāna] 1. cleansing, getting bright (of sun & moon) — 2. purity (from the kilesas, or stains of sin), purification, sanctification.

[76] Oḷārikassapi kho ahaṃ, poṭṭhapāda, attapaṭilābhassa pahānāya dhammaṃ desemi: ‘yathāpaṭipannānaṃ vo saṅkilesikā dhammā pahīyissanti, vodāniyā dhammā abhivaḍḍhissanti, paññāpāripūriṃ vepullattañca diṭṭheva dhammesayaṃ abhiññā sacchikatvā upasampajja viharissathā’ti.

[77] dukkho ca kho vihāro’ti.

[78] Na kho panetaṃ, poṭṭhapāda, evaṃ daṭṭhabbaṃ.

[79] pāmujjañceva bhavissati pīti ca passaddhi ca sati ca sampajaññañca sukho ca vihāro.

[80] Manomayassapi kho ahaṃ, poṭṭhapāda, attapaṭilābhassa pahānāya dhammaṃ desemi:

[81] Pare ce, poṭṭhapāda, amhe evaṃ puccheyyuṃ: “katamo pana so, āvuso, oḷāriko attapaṭilābho, yassa tumhe pahānāya dhammaṃ desetha,

[82] ‘ayaṃ vā so, āvuso, oḷāriko attapaṭilābho,

[83] Taṃ kiṃ maññasi, poṭṭhapāda, nanu evaṃ sante sappāṭihīrakataṃ bhāsitaṃ sampajjatī”ti?

[84] “Seyyathāpi, poṭṭhapāda, puriso nisseṇiṃ kareyya pāsādassa ārohaṇāya tasseva pāsādassa heṭṭhā.

[85] So evaṃ vadeyya:

‘ayaṃ vā so, āvuso, pāsādo, yassāhaṃ ārohaṇāya nisseṇiṃ karomi, tasseva pāsādassa heṭṭhā’ti.

[86] “yasmiṃ, bhante, samaye oḷāriko attapaṭilābho hoti, moghassa tasmiṃ samaye manomayo attapaṭilābho hoti, mogho arūpo attapaṭilābho hoti; oḷāriko vāssa attapaṭilābho tasmiṃ samaye sacco hoti.

[87] “Yasmiṃ, citta, samaye oḷāriko attapaṭilābho hoti, neva tasmiṃ samaye manomayo attapaṭilābhoti saṅkhaṃ gacchati, na arūpo attapaṭilābhoti saṅkhaṃ gacchati; oḷāriko attapaṭilābhotveva tasmiṃ samaye saṅkhaṃ gacchati.

[88] Seyyathāpi, citta, gavā khīraṃ, khīramhā dadhi,   dadhimhā navanītaṃ, navanītamhā sappi, sappimhā sappimaṇḍo.

[89]  Imā kho, citta, lokasamaññā lokaniruttiyo lokavohārā lokapaññattiyo, yāhi tathāgato voharati aparāmasan”ti.