SN IV 45.2 Half of the Spiritual Life

SN IV 45.2 Half of the Spiritual Life

 

Upaḍḍha Sutta #

 

Thus I have heard,

 

At one time,

The Awakened One was living with the Sakyans,

In Nagaraka, a Sakyan town.

 

Then, the Elder Ānanda went to the Awakened One,

Paid loving respects and sat down to one side.

Sitting thus, the Elder Ānanda exclaimed:

 

[Ānanda]

 

“Bhante,

Surely, this is at least half of the Spiritual Life:

 

Virtuous friendship,

Virtuous association,

Virtuous company.”

 

[The Buddha]

“Surely not Ānanda, surely not…”

“That is the whole of the Spiritual Life, Ānanda, namely:

 

Virtuous friendship,

Virtuous association,

Virtuous company.”

 

It is by seeking out

Virtuous friendship,

Virtuous association,

Virtuous company,

 

That a monk will develop this Ariyan Eight-Spoked Path.

That he will cultivate this Ariyan Eight-Spoked Path.

 

 

And how, Ānanda, does a bhikkhu with

Virtuous friends, virtuous associations, virtuous company,

Develop this Ariyan eight-spoked path,

Cultivate this Ariyan Eight-Spoked Path?

 

Here Ānanda, a bhikkhu

 

Develops Wise Understanding, which comes

From letting go, relaxing, and releasing,

And which culminates in surrender[1]

 

He develops Wise Attitude which comes

From letting go, relaxing, and releasing,

And which culminates in surrender.

 

He develops Wise Speech which comes

From letting go, relaxing, and releasing,

And which culminates in surrender.

 

He develops Wise Action which comes

From letting go, relaxing, and releasing,

And which culminates in surrender.

 

He develops Wise Living which comes

From letting go, relaxing, and releasing,

And which culminates in surrender.

 

He develops Wise Practice which comes

From letting go, relaxing, and releasing,

And which culminates in surrender.

 

He develops Wise Presence which comes

From letting go, relaxing, and releasing,

And which culminates in surrender.

 

He develops Wise Meditation which comes

From letting go, relaxing, and releasing,

And which culminates in surrender.

 

In this way Ānanda, a bhikkhu who has

Virtuous friends, virtuous associations, virtuous company,

Develops this Ariyan Eight-Spoked Path,

Cultivates this Ariyan Eight-Spoked Path

 

It is in this way Ānanda,

That it should be understood:

 

That this is the whole of the Spiritual Life, namely:

 

Virtuous friendship,

Virtuous association,

Virtuous company.

 

 

From my help Ānanda,

 

Beings subject to birth

are completely liberated from birth;

Beings subject to aging

are completely liberated from aging,

Beings subject to death

are completely liberated from death;

Beings subject to sadness, weeping, hurt, affliction and distress

Are completely liberated from sadness, weeping, hurt, affliction and distress.

 

 

In this way Ānanda,

It should be understood

 

That this is the whole of the Spiritual Life, namely:

 

Virtuous friendship,

Virtuous association,

Virtuous company.

 

 

[1] vivekanissitaṃ virāganissitaṃ nirodhanissitaṃ vossaggapariṇāmiṃ;

Vossagga: relinquishing, relaxation; handing over, donation, gift -pariṇāmi, maturity of surrender

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