Aŋguttara Nikāya


 

Aŋguttara Nikāya
X. Dasaka-Nipāta
III. Mahā Vagga

The Numerical Discourses of the Buddha
X. The Book of the Tens
III. The Great Chapter

Sutta 28

Dutiya Mahā-Pañha Suttaɱ

Great Questions (2)

Translated from the Pali by Bhikkhu Bodhi.

© 2012 Bhikkhu Bodhi
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[54] [1376]

[1][pts] On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Kajaŋgalā in the Bamboo Grove.

Then a number of lay followers from Kajaŋgalā approached the bhikkhunī from Kajaŋgalā, paid homage to her, sat down to one side, and said to her:

"Noble lady, this was said by the Blessed One in 'The Great Questions':

'A question about one, a concise statement about one, an explanation of one.

A question about two, a concise statement about two, an explanation of two.

A question about three, a concise statement about three, an explanation of three.

[55] A question about four, a concise statement about four, an explanation of four.

A question about five, a concise statement about five, an explanation of five.

A question about six, a concise statement about six, an explanation of six.

A question about seven, a concise statement about seven, an explanation of seven.

A question about eight, a concise statement about eight, an explanation of eight.

A question about nine, a concise statement about nine, an explanation of nine.

A question about ten, a concise statement about ten, an explanation of ten.'

How, noble lady, is the meaning of this statement that the Blessed One spoke in brief to be seen in detail."

"Friends, I have not heard and learned this in the presence of the Blessed One, nor have I heard and learned this in the presence of esteemed bhikkhus.

However, listen and attend closely as I explain what it seems to mean to me."

"Yes, noble lady," those lay followers of Kajaŋgalā replied.

The bhikkhunī of Kajaŋgalā said this:

(1) "When it was said by the Blessed One:

'A question about one, a concise statement about one, an explanation of one,'

with reference to what was this said?

When a bhikkhu is completely disenchanted with one thing, completely dispassionate toward it, completely liberated from it, completely sees its delimitations, and completely breaks through its meaning, in this very life he makes an end of suffering.

What one thing?

All beings exist through nutriment.

When a bhikkhu is completely disenchanted with this one thing, completely dispassionate toward it, completely liberated from it, completely sees its delimitations, and completely breaks through its meaning, in this very life he makes an end of suffering.

"When it was said by the Blessed One:

'A question about one, a concise statement about one, an explanation of one,'

it is with reference to this that this was said.

[56] (2) "When it was said by the Blessed One:

'A question about two, a concise statement about two, an explanation of two,'

with reference to what was this said?

When a bhikkhu is completely disenchanted with two things, completely dispassionate toward them, completely liberated from them, completely sees their delimitations, and completely breaks through their meaning, in this very life he makes an end of suffering.

What two things?

Name and form....

(3) ... "What three things?

The three kinds of feelings.

When a bhikkhu is completely disenchanted with these three things ... in this very life he makes an end of suffering.

"When it was said by the Blessed One:

'A question about three, a concise statement about three, an explanation of three,'

it is with reference to this that this was said.

(4) "When it was said by the Blessed One:

'A question about four, a concise statement about four, an explanation of four,'

with reference to what was this said?

When a bhikkhu has a mind completely well developed in four things, completely sees their delimitations, and completely breaks through their meaning, in this very life he makes an end of suffering.

What four things?

The four establishments of mindfulness.

When a bhikkhu has a mind completely well developed in these four things ... in this very life he makes an end of suffering.

"When it was said by the Blessed One:

'A question about four, a concise statement about four, an explanation of four,'

it is with reference to this that this was said.

(5) — (8) "When it was said by the Blessed One:

'A question about five, a concise statement about five, an explanation of five,'

with reference to what was this said?

When a bhikkhu has a mind completely well developed in five things, completely sees their delimitations, and completely breaks through their meaning, in this very life he makes an end of suffering.

What five things?

The five faculties ...

What six things?

[57] The six elements of escape ...

What seven things?

The seven factors of enlightenment ...

What eight things?

The noble eightfold path.

When a bhikkhu has a mind completely well developed in these eight things ... in this very life he makes an end of suffering.

"When it was said by the Blessed One:

'A question about eight, a concise statement about eight, an explanation of eight,'

it is with reference to this that this was said.

(9) "When it was said by the Blessed One:

'A question about nine, a concise statement about nine, an explanation of nine,'

with reference to what was this said?

When a bhikkhu is completely disenchanted with nine things, completely dispassionate toward them, completely liberated from them, completely sees their delimitations, and completely breaks through their meaning, in this very life he makes an end of suffering.

What nine things?

The nine abodes of beings.

When a bhikkhu is completely disenchanted with these nine things ... in this very life he makes an end of suffering.

"When it was said by the Blessed One:

'A question about nine, a concise statement about nine, an explanation of nine,'

it is with reference to this that this was said.

(10) "When it was said by the Blessed One:

'A question about ten, a concise statement about ten, an explanation of ten,'

with reference to what was this said?

When a bhikkhu has a mind completely well developed in ten things, completely sees their delimitations, and completely breaks through their meaning, in this very life he makes an end of suffering.

What ten things?

The ten wholesome courses of kamma.

[58] When a bhikkhu has a mind completely well developed in these ten things ... in this very life he makes an end of suffering.

"When it was said by the Blessed One:

'A question about ten, a concise statement about ten, an explanation of ten,'

it is with reference to this that this was said.

"Thus, friends, when it was said by the Blessed One in 'The Great Questions':

'A question about one, a concise statement about one, an explanation of one ... A question about ten, a concise statement about ten, an explanation of ten,'

it is in such a way that I understand in detail the meaning of this statement that the Blessed One spoke in brief.

But if you wish, approach the Blessed One and ask him about this matter.

As the Blessed One answers you, so should you retain it in mind."

Saying, "Yes, noble lady," those lay followers of Kajaŋgalā delighted and rejoiced in the statement of the bhikkhunī of Kajaŋgalā.

Then they rose from their seats, paid homage to her, circumambulated her keeping the right side toward her, and approached the Blessed One.

They paid homage to the Blessed One, sat down to one side, and reported to the Blessed One their entire discussion with the bhikkhunī of Kajaŋgalā.

[The Blessed One said:]

"Good, good, householders!

The bhikkhunī of Kajaŋgalā is wise, of great wisdom.

If you had approached me and asked me about this matter, I [59] would have answered exactly as the bhikkhunī of Kajaŋgalā has answered.

That is its meaning, and it is in this way that you should retain it in mind."


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