SN V 47.10 The Bhikkhunīs’s Residence

SN V 47.10 The Bhikkhunīs’s Residence

 

Bhikkhunupassaya Sutta #

 

 

Having dressed up in the morning, 

The Venerable Ānanda took his bowl and robe, 

went to the nun’s residence 

and sat down on a prepared seat.

 

Then, many nuns approached him,

Paid loving respects and sat down in front of him.

 

Then a nun said this:

 

[The Nun]

“Bhante Ānanda, many nuns, 

Meditating with a mind well settled[1]

In the four resting places of awareness[2],

Are experiencing wonderful progress.”[3]

 

[Ānanda]

“So it is sisters, so it is sisters.

Indeed sisters, whosoever, monk or nun,

Meditates with a mind well settled

In the four resting places of awareness,

It can be expected that 

they will experience wonderful progress.”

 

Then, the Venerable Ānanda 

taught the Dhamma to the nuns.

 

Having taught, 

sparked, 

uplifted

and gladdened them,[4]

he stood from his seat and left.

 

In the afternoon, having walked for alms in Sāvatthi, 

the Venerable Ānanda approached the Awakened One.

Paid loving respects, 

sat down to one side, 

and told him: … 

 

[All that happened in the morning]

 

[The Buddha]

“So it is, Ānanda, so it is Ānanda! 

Indeed Ānanda, whosoever, monk or nun, 

meditating with a mind well settled

in the four resting places of awareness, 

it can be expected that 

they will experience wonderful progress.”

 

What are the four?

 

[Development by Application] #

 

[Body as body] #

 

Here Ānanda, 

One meditates, 

Aware of body as body,

Intent, fully aware and present.

Letting go of tension and distractions.[5]

 

As one meditates,

Aware of body as body, 

Resting awareness upon body:[6]

 

Bodily discomfort arises,

One’s mind becomes lazy,

Or distracted outwardly.

 

[Natural Samādhi]

 

Then, one should apply one’s mind 

to an uplifting[7] object.[8]

By doing so, gladness arises.

 

From gladness comes joy,

Joyful in mind, one’s body is relaxed.

Relaxed in body, one experiences happiness.

And a happy mind becomes collected [naturally].[9]

 

[Going Beyond Thoughts]

 

Afterwards, one reflects:

“This is the reason why I have applied my mind,

My intention was fulfilled,

I can now let it go.[10]

 

One then lets it go and 

neither thinks 

nor imagines 

and one knows:

 

“Not thinking nor imagining, 

I am happy, present inwardly.”[11]

 

[Sensations as Sensations] #

 

On another occasion, 

One meditates, 

Aware of sensations as sensations,

Intent, fully aware and present.

Letting go of tension and distractions.

 

As one meditates, 

Aware of sensations as sensations,

Resting awareness upon sensations:

 

Bodily discomfort arises,

one’s mind becomes lazy,

or distracted outwardly.

 

[Natural Samādhi]

 

Then, one should apply one’s mind 

to an uplifting object.

By doing so, gladness arises.

 

From gladness comes joy.

Joyful in mind, one’s body is relaxed.

Relaxed in body, one experiences happiness.

And a happy mind becomes collected [naturally].

 

[Going Beyond Thoughts]

 

Afterwards, one reflects: 

“This is the reason why I have applied my mind,

My intention was fulfilled,

I can now let it go.”

 

One then lets it go and

neither thinks 

nor imagine, 

and one knows:

 

“Not thinking nor imagining, 

I am happy, present inwardly.”

 

[Mind as mind] #

 

On another occasion, 

One meditates, 

Aware of mind as mind,

Intent, fully aware and present.

Letting go of tension and distractions.

 

As one meditates, 

Aware of mind as mind, 

Resting awareness upon mind:

 

Bodily discomfort arises,

One’s mind becomes lazy,

Or distracted outwardly.

 

[Natural Samādhi]

 

Then, one should apply one’s mind 

to an uplifting object.

By doing so, gladness arises.

 

From gladness comes joy.

Joyful in mind, one’s body is relaxed.

Relaxed in body, one experiences happiness.

And a happy mind becomes collected [naturally].

 

[Going Beyond Thoughts]

 

Afterwards, one reflects: 

“This is the reason why I have applied my mind,

My intention has been fulfilled.

I can now let it go.”

 

One then lets it go and 

neither thinks 

nor imagine 

and one know:

 

“Without thinking or imagining, 

I am happy, present inwardly.

 

[Mental States as Mental States] #

 

On another occasion, 

One meditates, 

Aware of mental states as mental states,

Intent, fully aware and present,

Letting go of tension and distractions.

 

As one meditates, 

Aware of mental states as mental states,

Resting awareness upon mental states;

 

Bodily discomfort arises,

One’s mind becomes dull,

Or distracted outwardly.

 

[Natural Samādhi]

 

Then, one should apply one’s mind 

to an uplifting object

By doing so, gladness arises.

 

From that gladness comes joy;

Joyful in mind, one’s body is relaxed.

Relaxed in body, one experiences happiness.

And a happy mind becomes collected [naturally].

 

[Going Beyond Thoughts]

 

Afterwards, one reflects: 

“This is the reason why I have applied my mind

My intention has been accomplished,

I can now let it go.”

 

One then lets it go and 

neither thinks 

nor imagine 

and one knows:

 

“Without thinking nor imagining, 

I am happy, present internally.”

 

 

This is how there is development by application Ānanda.

And how is there development without application?

 

 

[Development Without Application] #

 

[Body as Body] #

 

One does not apply one’s mind outwardly.

 

One understands:

‘My mind is not applied outwardly.[12]

It is unconstricted, 

liberated, 

unapplied, 

before and after.[13]

 

Meditating, 

Aware of the body as body,

Intent, fully aware and present,

I am happy.[14]

 

[Sensations as Sensations] #

 

One does not apply one’s mind outwardly.

 

One understands:

‘My mind is not applied outwardly. 

 It is unconstricted, 

liberated, 

unapplied, 

before and after.

 

Meditating, 

Aware of sensations as sensations,

Intent, fully aware and present,

I am happy.

 

[Mind as Mind] #

 

One does not apply one’s mind outwardly.

 

One understands:

My mind is not applied outwardly.

It is unconstricted, 

liberated, 

unapplied, 

before and after.

 

Meditating, 

Aware of mind as mind,

Intent, fully aware and present,

I am happy.

 

[Mental States as Mental States] #

 

One does not apply one’s mind outwardly.

 

One understands:

My mind is not applied outwardly.

It is unconstricted, 

liberated, 

unapplied, 

before and after.

 

Meditating,

Aware of mental states as mental states,

Intent, fully aware and present, 

I am happy.

 

This is how there comes to be development without application.

 

[The Teacher’s Instruction] #

 

“Ānanda, 

I have taught you development by application,

And development without application. 

 

What should be done by a teacher for his students,

Holding their best interest at heart, 

Out of loving compassion,

That, I have done for you Ānanda.

 

There are these roots of trees Ānanda, 

There are these empty huts;

 

Meditate Ānanda! 

Do not be neglectful.

Lest you become remorseful 

When the time has passed.

 

This is my advice to you.”

 

This is what the Awakened One said.

 

With an uplifted mind, 

the Venerable Ānanda delighted 

in the Awakened One’s words.

 

 


[1] Suppatiṭṭhitacittā: Ṭhita-atta: self-controlled, composed, steadfast

[2] Catūsu satipaṭṭhānesu suppatiṭṭhitacittā viharantiyo

[3] Uḷāraṃ pubbenāparaṃ visesaṃ sañjānantī”ti.

[4] Sandassetvā samādapetvā samuttejetvā sampahaṃsetvā.

[5] “The World” according to the Buddha is the six sense bases; The eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and mind faculties.

[6] Kāyārammaṇo vā 

[7] The difficulty in translating this passage rests in the interpretation of the word ‘pasāda,’ which can be interpreted either as clarity, joy or calm. Interestingly, this triple meaning seems to come along, hand in hand, in the pāḷi scriptures. Readers can choose for themselves. Pasāda [fr. pa+sad, cp. Vedic prasāda] 1. clearness, brightness, purity. — 2. joy, satisfaction, happy or good mind, virtue, faith — 3. repose, composure, allayment, serenity.

[8] Pasādanīye nimitte cittaṃ paṇidahitabbaṃ.

Paṇidahati: Apply, direct, intend; Pasāda: 2. joy, happy or good mind, virtue, faith. 3. repose, composure, serenity.

[9] Pamuditassa pīti jāyati. Pītimanassa kāyo passambhati. Blissful in mind, his body is calmed. Passaddhakāyo sukhaṃ vedayati. Sukhino cittaṃ samādhiyati. The Buddha here clearly demonstrates that it is by using an uplifting object that the mind becomes unified, by way of joy and calm. There are no mentions here about keeping the mind fixed on one object. 

[10]  ‘Yassa khvāhaṃ atthāya cittaṃ paṇidahiṃ, so me attho abhinipphanno. Handa dāni paṭisaṃharāmī’ti. 

Paṭisaṁharati to draw back, withdraw, remove, take away, give up

[11]   ‘Avitakkomhi avicāro, ajjhattaṃ satimā sukhamasmī’ti pajānāti. Here we find unmistakable evidence that the Buddha speaks of the former ‘uplifting object’ as part of ‘Thinking and reflection’ (Vitakka and vicāra), particular aspects constituting the first jhāna. Here the Buddha speaks of going beyond this thinking and reflection, the second jhāna. Clearly explaining that one must let go of any object in order to progress in meditation, and to simply rest the mind upon the Four Resting Places of Awareness, as will be indicated further down. This practice can also be done using Mettā and the Brāhmavihāras.

[12] ‘Appaṇihitaṃ me bahiddhā cittan’ti pajānāti. 

[13] Atha pacchāpure ‘asaṅkhittaṃ vimuttaṃ appaṇihitan’ti pajānāti. 

[14] Atha ca pana ‘kāye kāyānupassī viharāmi ātāpī sampajāno satimā sukhamasmī’ti pajānāti.