Aŋguttara Nikāya


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Aŋguttara Nikāya
VIII. Navaka Nipāta
IV. Mahā Vagga

Sutta 33

Anupubba-Vihāra-Samāpatti Suttaɱ

Dwellings (2)

Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
Proofed against and modified in accordance with the revised edition at dhammatalks.org
Provenance, terms and conditons

 


 

[2][pts] "Monks, I will teach you the nine step-by-step dwelling-attainments.

Listen & pay close attention. I will speak."

"As you say, lord," the monks responded.

The Blessed One said, "And what, monks, are the nine step-by-step dwelling-attainments?

[1] "Wherever sensual resolves cease and those who repeatedly stop sensual resolves dwell: Surely, I tell you, by that factor those venerable ones are free from hunger, unbound, having crossed over & gone to the far shore.

"Now if someone should say, 'Where do sensual resolves cease? And where do those who repeatedly stop sensual resolves dwell? I don't know that; I don't see that,' he should be told, 'There is the case, friend, where a monk, quite secluded from sensuality, secluded from unskillful mental qualities, enters & remains in the first jhāna: rapture & pleasure born of seclusion, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. That is where sensual resolves cease, and where those who repeatedly stop sensual resolves dwell.'

Surely, a person without guile or deceit, (saying,) 'Very good,' would delight in & approve of that statement.

Delighting in & approving of that statement, paying homage & raising his hands palm-to-palm over his heart, he would honor it.

[2] "Wherever directed thoughts & evaluations cease and those who repeatedly stop directed thoughts & evaluations dwell: Surely, I tell you, by that factor those venerable ones are free from hunger, unbound, having crossed over & gone to the far shore.

"Now if someone should say, 'Where do directed thoughts & evaluations cease? And where do those who repeatedly stop directed thoughts & evaluations dwell? I don't know that; I don't see that,' he should be told, 'There is the case, friend, where a monk, with the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, enters & remains in the second jhāna: rapture & pleasure born of concentration, unification of awareness free from directed thought & evaluation — internal assurance.

That is where directed thoughts & evaluations cease, and where those who repeatedly stop directed thoughts & evaluations dwell.'

Surely, a person without guile or deceit, (saying,) 'Very good,' would delight in & approve of that statement. Delighting in & approving of that statement, paying homage & raising his hands palm-to-palm over his heart, he would honor it.

[3] "Wherever rapture ceases and those who repeatedly stop rapture dwell: Surely, I tell you, by that factor those venerable ones are free from hunger, unbound, having crossed over & gone to the far shore.

"Now if someone should say, 'Where does rapture cease? And where do those who repeatedly stop rapture dwell? I don't know that; I don't see that,' he should be told, 'There is the case, friend, where a monk, with the fading of rapture, remains equanimous, mindful, & alert, and senses pleasure with the body.

He enters & remains in the third jhāna, of which the noble ones declare, "Equanimous & mindful, he has a pleasant abiding."

That is where rapture ceases, and where those who repeatedly stop rapture dwell.'

Surely, a person without guile or deceit, (saying,) 'Very good,' would delight in & approve of that statement.

Delighting in & approving of that statement, paying homage & raising his hands palm-to-palm over his heart, he would honor it.

[4] "Wherever the pleasure of equanimity[1] ceases and those who repeatedly stop the pleasure of equanimity dwell: Surely, I tell you, by that factor those venerable ones are free from hunger, unbound, having crossed over & gone to the far shore.

"Now if someone should say, 'Where does the pleasure of equanimity cease? And where do those who repeatedly stop the pleasure of equanimity dwell? I don't know that; I don't see that,' he should be told, 'There is the case, friend, where a monk, with the abandoning of pleasure & pain — as with the earlier disappearance of joy & distress — enters & remains in the fourth jhāna: purity of equanimity & mindfulness, neither-pleasure-nor-pain.

That is where the pleasure of equanimity ceases, and where those who repeatedly stop the pleasure of equanimity dwell.'

Surely, a person without guile or deceit, (saying,) 'Very good,' would delight in & approve of that statement.

Delighting in & approving of that statement, paying homage & raising his hands palm-to-palm over his heart, he would honor it.

[5] "Wherever the perception of form ceases and those who repeatedly stop the perception of form dwell: Surely, I tell you, by that factor those venerable ones are free from hunger, unbound, having crossed over & gone to the far shore.

"Now if someone should say, 'Where does the perception of form cease? And where do those who repeatedly stop the perception of form dwell? I don't know that; I don't see that,' he should be told, 'There is the case, friend, where a monk, with the complete transcending of perceptions of form, with the disappearance of perceptions of resistance,[2] and not attending to perceptions of multiplicity,[3] (perceiving,) "Infinite space," enters & remains in the dimension of the infinitude of space.

That is where the perception of form ceases, and where those who repeatedly stop the perception of form dwell.'

Surely, a person without guile or deceit, (saying,) 'Very good,' would delight in & approve of that statement.

Delighting in & approving of that statement, paying homage & raising his hands palm-to-palm over his heart, he would honor it.

[6] "Wherever the perception of the infinitude of space ceases and those who repeatedly stop the perception of the infinitude of space dwell: Surely, I tell you, by that factor those venerable ones are free from hunger, unbound, having crossed over & gone to the far shore.

"Now if someone should say, 'Where does the perception of the infinitude of space cease? And where do those who repeatedly stop the perception of the infinitude of space dwell? I don't know that; I don't see that,' he should be told, 'There is the case, friend, where a monk, with the complete transcending of the dimension of the infinitude of space, (perceiving,) "Infinite consciousness," enters & remains in the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness.

That is where the perception of the infinitude of space ceases, and where those who repeatedly stop the perception of the infinitude of space dwell.'

Surely, a person without guile or deceit, (saying,) 'Very good,' would delight in & approve of that statement.

Delighting in & approving of that statement, paying homage & raising his hands palm-to-palm over his heart, he would honor it.

[7] "Wherever the perception of the infinitude of consciousness ceases and those who repeatedly stop the perception of the infinitude of consciousness dwell: Surely, I tell you, by that factor those venerable ones are free from hunger, unbound, having crossed over & gone to the far shore.

"Now if someone should say, 'Where does the perception of the infinitude of consciousness cease? And where do those who repeatedly stop the perception of the infinitude of consciousness dwell? I don't know that; I don't see that,' he should be told, 'There is the case, friend, where a monk, with the complete transcending of the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness, (perceiving,) "There is nothing," enters & remains in the dimension of nothingness.

That is where the perception of the infinitude of consciousness ceases, and where those who repeatedly stop the perception of the infinitude of consciousness dwell.'

Surely, a person without guile or deceit, (saying,) 'Very good,' would delight in & approve of that statement.

Delighting in & approving of that statement, paying homage & raising his hands palm-to-palm over his heart, he would honor it.

[8] "Wherever the perception of nothingness ceases and those who repeatedly stop the perception of nothingness dwell: Surely, I tell you, by that factor those venerable ones are free from hunger, unbound, having crossed over & gone to the far shore.

"Now if someone should say, 'Where does the perception of nothingness cease? And where do those who repeatedly stop the perception of nothingness dwell? I don't know that; I don't see that,' he should be told, 'There is the case, friend, where a monk, with the complete transcending of the dimension of nothingness, enters & remains in the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception.

That is where the perception of nothingness ceases, and where those who repeatedly stop the perception of nothingness dwell.'

Surely, a person without guile or deceit, (saying,) 'Very good,' would delight in & approve of that statement.

Delighting in & approving of that statement, paying homage & raising his hands palm-to-palm over his heart, he would honor it.

[9] "Wherever the perception of the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception ceases and those who repeatedly stop the perception of the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception dwell: Surely, I tell you, by that factor those venerable ones are free from hunger, unbound, having crossed over & gone to the far shore.

"Now if someone should say, 'Where does the perception of the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception cease? And where do those who repeatedly stop the perception of the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception dwell? I don't know that; I don't see that,' he should be told, 'There is the case, friend, where a monk, with the complete transcending of the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception, enters & remains in the cessation of perception & feeling.[4]

That is where the perception of the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception ceases, and where those who repeatedly stop the perception of the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception dwell.'

Surely, a person without guile or deceit, (saying,) 'Very good,' would delight in & approve of that statement.

Delighting in & approving of that statement, paying homage & raising his hands palm-to-palm over his heart, he would honor it.

"These, monks, are the nine step-by-step dwelling-attainments."

 


Bhk. Thanissaro, in an earlier version of this translation notes: In AN 9.34, the "affliction" of the third jhāna that is abandoned in the fourth jhāna is said to be equanimity. However, the fourth jhāna also contains equanimity. Thus the statement in this sutta — that the pleasure of equanimity is abandoned in the fourth jhāna — seems more consistent with the fourth jhāna as described in the standard formula. AN 9.42 is in agreement with this sutta on this point.

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

[1] This observation—that the pleasure of equanimity is abandoned in the fourth jhāna—is also found in MN 66 and AN 9:42.

[2] "Resistance" is a translation of the Pali term, paṭigha. According to DN 15, resistance-contact results from the characteristics of form and allows mental activity to know the presence of form. In other words, if form did not put up resistance to something else taking its place, one would not know that form is present. Thus, the disappearance of perceptions of resistance aids in the mind’s ability to transcend perceptions of form and to sense, in its place, infinite space.

[3] "Multiplicity" is a translation of the Pali term, nānattā. MN 137 identifies multiplicity as the input of the five physical senses.

[4] Notice that this description of the cessation of perception & feeling lacks the statement often added in passages where this attainment is described: "and, having seen [that] with discernment, his effluents are completely ended."

 


 

Of Related Interest:

AN 9.32
MN 79

 


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