Aŋguttara Nikāya


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Aŋguttara Nikāya
Pañcaka Nipāta
VI: Nīvaraṇa Vagga

The Book of Fives

Sutta 51

Āvaraṇā-Nīvaraṇa Suttaɱ

Diversions

Translated from the Pali

 


 

[1][pts][bodh] I HEAR TELL:

Once upon a time the Lucky Man,
Sāvatthi-town came a revisit'n
Anāthapiṇḍika's Jeta Grove.

There then, the Lucky Man addressed the beggars:

"Beggars!"

And the beggars responding "Elder!" the Lucky Man said:

Beggars, there are these five distractions,
diversions[1] overgrowing the heart,
making for the debilitation of wisdom.

What five?

Sensual-desire, beggars is a distraction,
a diversion overgrowing the heart,
making for the debilitation of wisdom.

Deviance, beggars is a distraction,
a diversion overgrowing the heart,
making for the debilitation of wisdom.

Sluggish-stupidity, beggars is a distraction,
a diversion overgrowing the heart,
making for the debilitation of wisdom.

Anxious confusion, beggars is a distraction,
a diversion overgrowing the heart,
making for the debilitation of wisdom.

Scatterbrained second-thoughts, beggars are a distraction,
a diversion overgrowing the heart,
making for the debilitation of wisdom.

These, beggars, are the five distractions, diversions overpowering the heart,
making for the debilitation of wisdom.

 

§

 

Indeed, beggars, that a beggar,
not giving up these five distractions,
diversions overgrowing the heart,
making for the debilitation of wisdom,
— being powerless,
wisdom-debilitated —
should know his own attainments,
or know another's attainments,
or know his own/another's attainments
or, beyond things human,
should witness a truly aristocratic excellence of knowing and seeing
such a thing does not stand to reason.

In just the same way, beggars, as a stream
springing from the mountains
headed far,
swift-flowing,
carrying all before it,
if some man were to plow a diversion across it's mouth,
thus overpowered, beggars, that stream, diffused,
its main body
no longer heads far,
no longer swiftly-flows,
no longer carries all before it.

In the same way, beggars, a beggar,
not giving up these five distractions,
diversions overpowering the heart,
making for the debilitation of wisdom,
— being powerless,
wisdom-debilitated —
should know his own attainments,
or know another's attainments,
or know his own/another's attainments
or, beyond things human,
should witness a truly aristocratic excellence of knowing and seeing
such a thing does not stand to reason.

 

§

 

Indeed, beggars, that a beggar,
giving up these five distractions,
diversions overgrowing the heart,
making for the debilitation of wisdom,
— being empowered,
wise —
should know his own attainments,
or know another's attainments,
or know his own/another's attainments
or, beyond things human,
should witness a truly aristocratic excellence of knowing and seeing
such a thing stands to reason.

In just the same way, beggars, as a stream
springing from the mountains
headed far,
swift-flowing,
carrying all before it,
if no one were to plow a diversion across it's mouth,
thus not overpowered, beggars, that stream, not diffused,
its main body
heads far,
swiftly-flows,
carries all before it.

In the same way, beggars, a beggar,
giving up these five distractions,
diversions overpowering the heart,
making for the debilitation of wisdom,
— being empowered,
wise —
should know his own attainments,
or know another's attainments,
or know his own/another's attainments
or, beyond things human,
should witness a truly aristocratic excellence of knowing and seeing
such a thing stands to reason.

 


[1] āvaraṇā and nīvaraṇā. Āvaraṇā: to weave (veer) or to open; and nīvaraṇā to 'down' (tear down, bring down, open up) a barrier. Most frequently translated in a way that indicates the making or encountering of a barrier, but the simile asks that this be understood in an inverse way as in the destruction of or distraction from a natural course.

 


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