The Connected Discourses of the Buddha - Selections

Chapter 46. Bojjhaṅgasaṃyutta: Connected Discourses on the Factors of Enlightenment

VI. Discussions

51 (1) Nutriment
At Sāvatthī. “Bhikkhus, I will teach you the nutriment and the denourishment in regard to the five hindrances and the seven factors of enlightenment. Listen to that.…

(i. The nutriments for the hindrances)

“And what, bhikkhus, is the nutriment for the arising of unarisen sensual desire and for the increase and expansion of arisen sensual desire? [103] There is, bhikkhus, the sign of the beautiful: frequently giving careless attention to it is the nutriment for the arising of unarisen sensual desire and for the increase and expansion of arisen sensual desire.
    “And what, bhikkhus, is the nutriment for the arising of unarisen ill will and for the increase and expansion of arisen ill will? There is, bhikkhus, the sign of the repulsive: frequently giving careless attention to it is the nutriment for the arising of unarisen ill will and for the increase and expansion of arisen ill will.
    “And what, bhikkhus, is the nutriment for the arising of unarisen sloth and torpor and for the increase and expansion of arisen sloth and torpor? There are, bhikkhus, discontent, lethargy, lazy stretching, drowsiness after meals, sluggishness of mind: frequently giving careless attention to them is the nutriment for the arising of unarisen sloth and torpor and for the increase and expansion of arisen sloth and torpor.
    “And what, bhikkhus, is the nutriment for the arising of unarisen restlessness and remorse and for the increase and expansion of arisen restlessness and remorse? There is, bhikkhus, unsettledness of mind: frequently giving careless attention to it is the nutriment for the arising of unarisen restlessness and remorse and for the increase and expansion of arisen restlessness and remorse.
    “And what, bhikkhus, is the nutriment for the arising of unarisen doubt and for the increase and expansion of arisen doubt? There are, bhikkhus, things that are the basis for doubt: frequently giving careless attention to them is the nutriment for the arising of unarisen doubt and for the increase and expansion of arisen doubt.

(ii. The nutriments for the enlightenment factors)

“And what, bhikkhus, is the nutriment for the arising of the unarisen enlightenment factor of mindfulness and for the fulfilment by development of the arisen enlightenment factor of mindfulness? There are, bhikkhus, things that are the basis for the enlightenment factor of mindfulness: [104] frequently giving careful attention to them is the nutriment for the arising of the unarisen enlightenment factor of mindfulness and for the fulfilment by development of the arisen enlightenment factor of mindfulness.
    “And what, bhikkhus, is the nutriment for the arising of the unarisen enlightenment factor of discrimination of states and for the fulfilment by development of the arisen enlightenment factor of discrimination of states? There are, bhikkhus, wholesome and unwholesome states, blameable and blameless states, inferior and superior states, dark and bright states with their counterparts: frequently giving careful attention to them is the nutriment for the arising of the unarisen enlightenment factor of discrimination of states and for the fulfilment by development of the arisen enlightenment factor of discrimination of states.
    “And what, bhikkhus, is the nutriment for the arising of the unarisen enlightenment factor of energy and for the fulfilment by development of the arisen enlightenment factor of energy? There are, bhikkhus, the element of arousal, the element of endeavour, the element of exertion: frequently giving careful attention to them is the nutriment for the arising of the unarisen enlightenment factor of energy and for the fulfilment by development of the arisen enlightenment factor of energy.
    “And what, bhikkhus, is the nutriment for the arising of the unarisen enlightenment factor of rapture and for the fulfilment by development of the arisen enlightenment factor of rapture? There are, bhikkhus, things that are the basis for the enlightenment factor of rapture: frequently giving careful attention to them is the nutriment for the arising of the unarisen enlightenment factor of rapture and for the fulfilment by development of the arisen enlightenment factor of rapture.
    “And what, bhikkhus, is the nutriment for the arising of the unarisen enlightenment factor of tranquillity and for the fulfilment by development of the arisen enlightenment factor of tranquillity? There are, bhikkhus, tranquillity of body, tranquillity of mind: frequently giving careful attention to them is the nutriment for the arising of the unarisen enlightenment factor of tranquillity and for the fulfilment by development of the arisen enlightenment factor of tranquillity. [105]
    “And what, bhikkhus, is the nutriment for the arising of the unarisen enlightenment factor of concentration and for the fulfilment by development of the arisen enlightenment factor of concentration? There are, bhikkhus, the sign of serenity, the sign of nondispersal: frequently giving careful attention to them is the nutriment for the arising of the unarisen enlightenment factor of concentration and for the fulfilment by development of the arisen enlightenment factor of concentration.
    “And what, bhikkhus, is the nutriment for the arising of the unarisen enlightenment factor of equanimity and for the fulfilment by development of the arisen enlightenment factor of equanimity? There are, bhikkhus, things that are the basis for the enlightenment factor of equanimity: frequently giving careful attention to them is the nutriment for the arising of the unarisen enlightenment factor of equanimity and for the fulfilment by development of the arisen enlightenment factor of equanimity.

(iii. The denourishment of the hindrances)

“And what, bhikkhus, is the denourishment that prevents unarisen sensual desire from arising and arisen sensual desire from increasing and expanding? There is, bhikkhus, the sign of foulness: frequently giving careful attention to it is the denourishment that prevents unarisen sensual desire from arising and arisen sensual desire from increasing and expanding.
    “And what, bhikkhus, is the denourishment that prevents unarisen ill will from arising and arisen ill will from increasing and expanding? There is, bhikkhus, the liberation of mind through lovingkindness: frequently giving careful attention to it is the denourishment that prevents unarisen ill will from arising and arisen ill will from increasing and expanding.
    “And what, bhikkhus, is the denourishment that prevents unarisen sloth and torpor from arising and arisen sloth and torpor from increasing and expanding? There are, bhikkhus, the element of arousal, the element of endeavour, the element of exertion: frequently giving careful attention to them is the denourishment that prevents unarisen sloth and torpor [106] from arising and arisen sloth and torpor from increasing and expanding.
    “And what, bhikkhus, is the denourishment that prevents unarisen restlessness and remorse from arising and arisen restlessness and remorse from increasing and expanding? There is, bhikkhus, peacefulness of mind: frequently giving careful attention to it is the denourishment that prevents unarisen restlessness and remorse from arising and arisen restlessness and remorse from increasing and expanding.
    “And what, bhikkhus, is the denourishment that prevents unarisen doubt from arising and arisen doubt from increasing and expanding? There are, bhikkhus, wholesome and unwholesome states, blameable and blameless states, inferior and superior states, dark and bright states with their counterparts: frequently giving careful attention to them is the denourishment that prevents unarisen doubt from arising and arisen doubt from increasing and expanding.

(iv. The denourishment of the enlightenment factors)

“And what, bhikkhus, is the denourishment that prevents the unarisen enlightenment factor of mindfulness from arising and the arisen enlightenment factor of mindfulness from reaching fulfilment by development? There are, bhikkhus, things that are the basis for the enlightenment factor of mindfulness: not frequently giving attention to them is the denourishment that prevents the unarisen enlightenment factor of mindfulness from arising and the arisen enlightenment factor of mindfulness from reaching fulfilment by development.
    “And what, bhikkhus, is the denourishment that prevents the unarisen enlightenment factor of discrimination of states from arising and the arisen enlightenment factor of discrimination of states from reaching fulfilment by development? There are, bhikkhus, wholesome and unwholesome states, blameable and blameless states, inferior and superior states, dark and bright states with their counterparts: not frequently giving attention to them is the denourishment that prevents the unarisen enlightenment factor of discrimination of states from arising and the arisen enlightenment factor of discrimination of states from reaching fulfilment by development.
    “And what, bhikkhus, is the denourishment that prevents the unarisen enlightenment factor of energy from arising and the arisen enlightenment factor of energy from reaching fulfilment by development? [107] There are, bhikkhus, the element of arousal, the element of endeavour, the element of exertion: not frequently giving attention to them is the denourishment that prevents the unarisen enlightenment factor of energy from arising and the arisen enlightenment factor of energy from reaching fulfilment by development.
    “And what, bhikkhus, is the denourishment that prevents the unarisen enlightenment factor of rapture from arising and the arisen enlightenment factor of rapture from reaching fulfilment by development? There are, bhikkhus, things that are the basis for the enlightenment factor of rapture: not frequently giving attention to them is the denourishment that prevents the unarisen enlightenment factor of rapture from arising and the arisen enlightenment factor of rapture from reaching fulfilment by development.
    “And what, bhikkhus, is the denourishment that prevents the unarisen enlightenment factor of tranquillity from arising and the arisen enlightenment factor of tranquillity from reaching fulfilment by development? There are, bhikkhus, tranquillity of body, tranquillity of mind: not frequently giving attention to them is the denourishment that prevents the unarisen enlightenment factor of tranquillity from arising and the arisen enlightenment factor of tranquillity from reaching fulfilment by development.
    “And what, bhikkhus, is the denourishment that prevents the unarisen enlightenment factor of concentration from arising and the arisen enlightenment factor of concentration from reaching fulfilment by development? There are, bhikkhus, the sign of serenity, the sign of nondispersal: not frequently giving attention to them is the denourishment that prevents the unarisen enlightenment factor of concentration from arising and the arisen enlightenment factor of concentration from reaching fulfilment by development.
    “And what, bhikkhus, is the denourishment that prevents the unarisen enlightenment factor of equanimity from arising and the arisen enlightenment factor of equanimity from reaching fulfilment by development. There are, bhikkhus, things that are the basis for the enlightenment factor of equanimity: not frequently giving attention to them is the denourishment that prevents the unarisen enlightenment factor of equanimity from arising and the arisen enlightenment factor of equanimity from reaching fulfilment by development.” [108]

52 (2) A Method of Exposition
Then, in the morning, a number of bhikkhus dressed and, taking their bowls and robes, entered Sāvatthī for alms. Then it occurred to them: “It is still too early to walk for alms in Sāvatthī. Let us go to the park of the wanderers of other sects.”
    Then those bhikkhus went to the park of the wanderers of other sects. They exchanged greetings with those wanderers and, when they had concluded their greetings and cordial talk, sat down to one side. The wanderers then said to them: “Friends, the ascetic Gotama teaches the Dhamma to his disciples thus: ‘Come, bhikkhus, abandon the five hindrances, the corruptions of the mind that weaken wisdom, and develop correctly the seven factors of enlightenment.’ We too teach the Dhamma to our disciples thus: ‘Come, friends, abandon the five hindrances, the corruptions of the mind that weaken wisdom, and develop correctly the seven factors of enlightenment.’ So, friends, what here is the distinction, the disparity, the difference between the ascetic Gotama and us, that is, regarding the one Dhamma teaching and the other, regarding the one manner of instruction and the other?”
    Then those bhikkhus neither delighted in nor rejected the statement of those wanderers. Without delighting in it, without rejecting it, they rose from their seats and left, thinking, “We shall learn the meaning of this statement in the presence of the Blessed One.”
    Then, when those bhikkhus had walked for alms in Sāvatthī and had returned from the alms round, after their meal they approached the Blessed One. Having paid homage to him, they sat down to one side [109] and reported to him the entire discussion between those wanderers and themselves. [The Blessed One said:]
    “Bhikkhus, when wanderers of other sects speak thus, they should be asked: ‘Friends, is there a method of exposition by means of which the five hindrances become ten, and the seven factors of enlightenment become fourteen?’ Being asked thus, those wanderers would not be able to reply and, further, they would meet with vexation. For what reason? Because that would not be within their domain. I do not see anyone, bhikkhus, in this world with its devas, Māra, and Brahmā, in this generation with its ascetics and brahmins, its devas and humans, who could satisfy the mind with an answer to these questions except the Tathāgata or a disciple of the Tathāgata or one who has heard it from them. [110]

(i. The five become ten)

“And what, bhikkhus, is the method of exposition by means of which the five hindrances become ten?
    “Whatever sensual desire there is for the internal is a hindrance; whatever sensual desire there is for the external is also a hindrance. Thus what is spoken of concisely as the hindrance of sensual desire becomes, by this method of exposition, twofold.
    “Whatever ill will there is towards the internal is a hindrance; whatever ill will there is towards the external is also a hindrance. Thus what is spoken of concisely as the hindrance of ill will becomes, by this method of exposition, twofold.
    “Whatever sloth there is, is a hindrance; whatever torpor there is, is also a hindrance. Thus what is spoken of concisely as the hindrance of sloth and torpor becomes, by this method of exposition, twofold.
    “Whatever restlessness there is, is a hindrance; whatever remorse there is, is also a hindrance. Thus what is spoken of concisely as the hindrance of restlessness and remorse becomes, by this method of exposition, twofold.
    “Whatever doubt there is about the internal is a hindrance; whatever doubt there is about the external is also a hindrance. Thus what is spoken of concisely as the hindrance of doubt becomes, by this method of exposition, twofold.

(ii. The seven become fourteen)

“And what, bhikkhus, is the method of exposition by means of which the seven factors of enlightenment become fourteen?
    “Whatever mindfulness there is of things internal is the enlightenment factor of mindfulness; whatever mindfulness there is of things external is also the enlightenment factor of mindfulness. Thus what is spoken of concisely as the enlightenment factor of mindfulness becomes, by this method of exposition, twofold. [111]
    “Whenever one discriminates things internally with wisdom, examines them, makes an investigation of them, that is the enlightenment factor of discrimination of states; whenever one discriminates things externally with wisdom, examines them, makes an investigation of them, that is also the enlightenment factor of discrimination of states. Thus what is spoken of concisely as the enlightenment factor of discrimination of states becomes, by this method of exposition, twofold.
    “Whatever bodily energy there is, is the enlightenment factor of energy; whatever mental energy there is, is also the enlightenment factor of energy. Thus what is spoken of concisely as the enlightenment factor of energy becomes, by this method of exposition, twofold.
    “Whatever rapture there is accompanied by thought and examination is the enlightenment factor of rapture; whatever rapture there is without thought and examination is also the enlightenment factor of rapture. Thus what is spoken of concisely as the enlightenment factor of rapture becomes, by this method of exposition, twofold.
    “Whatever tranquillity of body there is, is the enlightenment factor of tranquillity; whatever tranquillity of mind there is, is also the enlightenment factor of tranquillity. Thus what is spoken of concisely as the enlightenment factor of tranquillity becomes, by this method of exposition, twofold.
    “Whatever concentration there is accompanied by thought and examination is the enlightenment factor of concentration; whatever concentration there is without thought and examination is also the enlightenment factor of concentration. Thus what is spoken of concisely as the enlightenment factor of concentration becomes, by this method of exposition, twofold.
    “Whatever equanimity there is regarding things internal is the enlightenment factor of equanimity; whatever equanimity there is regarding things external is also the enlightenment factor of equanimity. Thus what is spoken of concisely as the enlightenment factor of equanimity becomes, by this method of exposition, twofold.
    “This, bhikkhus, is the method of exposition by means of which the seven factors of enlightenment become fourteen.” [112]

53 (3) Fire
Then, in the morning, a number of bhikkhus dressed and, taking their bowls and robes, entered Sāvatthī for alms … (as in §52 down to:) … [The Blessed One said:]
    “Bhikkhus, when wanderers of other sects speak thus, they should be asked: ‘Friends, when the mind becomes sluggish, which factors of enlightenment is it untimely to develop on that occasion, and which factors of enlightenment is it timely to develop on that occasion? Then, friends, when the mind becomes excited, which factors of enlightenment is it untimely to develop on that occasion, and which factors of enlightenment is it timely to develop on that occasion?’ Being asked thus, those wanderers would not be able to reply and, further, they would meet with vexation. For what reason? Because that would not be within their domain. I do not see anyone, bhikkhus, in this world with its devas, Māra, and Brahmā, in this generation with its ascetics and brahmins, its devas and humans, who could satisfy the mind with an answer to these questions except the Tathāgata or a disciple of the Tathāgata or one who has heard it from them.

(i. The sluggish mind: untimely)

“On an occasion, bhikkhus, when the mind becomes sluggish, it is untimely to develop the enlightenment factor of tranquillity, the enlightenment factor of concentration, and the enlightenment factor of equanimity. For what reason? Because the mind is sluggish, bhikkhus, and it is difficult to arouse it with those things.
    “Suppose, bhikkhus, a man wants to make a small fire flare up. If he throws wet grass, wet cowdung, and wet timber into it, [113] sprays it with water, and scatters soil over it, would he be able to make that small fire flare up?”
    “No, venerable sir.”
    “So too, bhikkhus, on an occasion when the mind becomes sluggish, it is untimely to develop the enlightenment factor of tranquillity, the enlightenment factor of concentration, and the enlightenment factor of equanimity. For what reason? Because the mind is sluggish, bhikkhus, and it is difficult to arouse it with those things.

(ii. The sluggish mind: timely)

“On an occasion, bhikkhus, when the mind becomes sluggish, it is timely to develop the enlightenment factor of discrimination of states, the enlightenment factor of energy, and the enlightenment factor of rapture. For what reason? Because the mind is sluggish, bhikkhus, and it is easy to arouse it with those things.
    “Suppose, bhikkhus, a man wants to make a small fire flare up. If he throws dry grass, dry cowdung, and dry timber into it, blows on it, and does not scatter soil over it, would he be able to make that small fire flare up?”
    “Yes, venerable sir.”
    “So too, bhikkhus, on an occasion when the mind becomes sluggish, it is timely to develop the enlightenment factor of discrimination of states, the enlightenment factor of energy, and the enlightenment factor of rapture. For what reason? Because the mind is sluggish, bhikkhus, and it is easy to arouse it with those things.

(iii. The excited mind: untimely)

“On an occasion, bhikkhus, when the mind becomes excited, it is untimely to develop the enlightenment factor of discrimination of states, the enlightenment factor of energy, [114] and the enlightenment factor of rapture. For what reason? Because the mind is excited, bhikkhus, and it is difficult to calm it down with those things.
    “Suppose, bhikkhus, a man wants to extinguish a great bonfire. If he throws dry grass, dry cowdung, and dry timber into it, blows on it, and does not scatter soil over it, would he be able to extinguish that great bonfire?”
    “No, venerable sir.”
    “So too, bhikkhus, on an occasion when the mind becomes excited, it is untimely to develop the enlightenment factor of discrimination of states, the enlightenment factor of energy, and the enlightenment factor of rapture. For what reason? Because the mind is excited, bhikkhus, and it is difficult to calm it down with those things.

(iv. The excited mind: timely)

“On an occasion, bhikkhus, when the mind becomes excited, it is timely to develop the enlightenment factor of tranquillity, the enlightenment factor of concentration, and the enlightenment factor of equanimity. For what reason? Because the mind is excited, bhikkhus, and it is easy to calm it down with those things.
    “Suppose, bhikkhus, a man wants to extinguish a great bonfire. If he throws wet grass, wet cowdung, and wet timber into it, sprays it with water, and scatters soil over it, would he be able to extinguish that great bonfire?”
    “Yes, venerable sir.”
    “So too, bhikkhus, on an occasion when the mind becomes excited, [115] it is timely to develop the enlightenment factor of tranquillity, the enlightenment factor of concentration, and the enlightenment factor of equanimity. For what reason? Because the mind is excited, bhikkhus, and it is easy to calm it down with those things.
    “But mindfulness, bhikkhus, I say is always useful.”

54 (4) Accompanied by Lovingkindness
On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling among the Koliyans, where there was a town of the Koliyans named Haliddavasana. Then, in the morning, a number of bhikkhus dressed and, taking their bowls and robes, entered Haliddavasana for alms. Then it occurred to them: “It is still too early to walk for alms in Haliddavasana. Let us go to the park of the wanderers of other sects.”
    Then those bhikkhus went to the park of the wanderers of other sects. They exchanged greetings with those wanderers and, when they had concluded their greetings and cordial talk, sat down to one side. The wanderers then said to them: “Friends, the ascetic Gotama teaches the Dhamma to his disciples thus: ‘Come, bhikkhus, abandon the five hindrances, the corruptions of the mind that weaken wisdom, and dwell pervading one quarter with a mind imbued with lovingkindness, likewise the second quarter, the third quarter, and the fourth quarter. Thus above, below, across, and everywhere, and to all as to oneself, dwell pervading the entire world with a mind imbued with lovingkindness, [116] vast, exalted, measureless, without hostility, without ill will. Dwell pervading one quarter with a mind imbued with compassion, likewise the second quarter, the third quarter, and the fourth quarter. Thus above, below, across, and everywhere, and to all as to oneself, dwell pervading the entire world with a mind imbued with compassion, vast, exalted, measureless, without hostility, without ill will. Dwell pervading one quarter with a mind imbued with altruistic joy, likewise the second quarter, the third quarter, and the fourth quarter. Thus above, below, across, and everywhere, and to all as to oneself, dwell pervading the entire world with a mind imbued with altruistic joy, vast, exalted, measureless, without hostility, without ill will. Dwell pervading one quarter with a mind imbued with equanimity, likewise the second quarter, the third quarter, and the fourth quarter. Thus above, below, across, and everywhere, and to all as to oneself, dwell pervading the entire world with a mind imbued with equanimity, vast, exalted, measureless, without hostility, without ill will.’
    “We too, friends, teach the Dhamma to our disciples thus: ‘Come, friends, abandon the five hindrances … (all as above) … dwell pervading the entire world with a mind imbued with lovingkindness … compassion … altruistic joy … equanimity … without ill will.’ So, friends, what here is the distinction, the disparity, the difference between the ascetic Gotama and us, that is, [117] regarding the one Dhamma teaching and the other, regarding the one manner of instruction and the other?”
    Then those bhikkhus neither delighted in nor rejected the statement of those wanderers. Without delighting in it, without rejecting it, they rose from their seats and left, thinking, “We shall learn the meaning of this statement in the presence of the Blessed One.”
    Then, when those bhikkhus had walked for alms in Haliddavasana and had returned from the alms round, after their meal they approached the Blessed One. Having paid homage to him, they sat down to one side and reported to him the entire discussion between those wanderers and themselves. [118] [The Blessed One said:]
    “Bhikkhus, when wanderers of other sects speak thus, they should be asked: ‘Friends, how is the liberation of the mind by lovingkindness developed? What does it have as its destination, its culmination, its fruit, its final goal? How is the liberation of the mind by compassion developed? What does it have as its destination, its culmination, its fruit, its final goal? How is the liberation of the mind by altruistic joy developed? What does it have as its destination, its culmination, its fruit, its final goal? How is the liberation of the mind by equanimity developed? What does it have as its destination, its culmination, its fruit, its final goal?’ Being asked thus, those wanderers would not be able to reply and, further, they would meet with vexation. For what reason? Because that would not be within their domain. I do not see anyone, bhikkhus, in this world with its devas, Māra, and Brahmā, in this generation with its ascetics and brahmins, its devas and humans, who could satisfy the mind with an answer to these questions except the Tathāgata or a disciple of the Tathāgata or one who has heard it from them. [119]
    “And how, bhikkhus, is the liberation of the mind by lovingkindness developed? What does it have as its destination, its culmination, its fruit, its final goal? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu develops the enlightenment factor of mindfulness accompanied by lovingkindness … the enlightenment factor of equanimity accompanied by lovingkindness, based upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, maturing in release. If he wishes: ‘May I dwell perceiving the repulsive in the unrepulsive,’ he dwells perceiving the repulsive therein. If he wishes: ‘May I dwell perceiving the unrepulsive in the repulsive,’ he dwells perceiving the unrepulsive therein. If he wishes: ‘May I dwell perceiving the repulsive in the unrepulsive and in the repulsive,’ he dwells perceiving the repulsive therein. If he wishes: ‘May I dwell perceiving the unrepulsive in the repulsive and in the unrepulsive,’ he dwells perceiving the unrepulsive therein. If he wishes: ‘Avoiding both the unrepulsive and the repulsive, may I dwell equanimously, mindful and clearly comprehending,’ then he dwells therein equanimously, mindful and clearly comprehending. Or else he enters and dwells in the deliverance of the beautiful. Bhikkhus, the liberation of mind by lovingkindness has the beautiful as its culmination, I say, for a wise bhikkhu here who has not penetrated to a superior liberation.
    “And how, bhikkhus, is the liberation of the mind by compassion developed? What does it have as its destination, its culmination, its fruit, its final goal? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu develops the enlightenment factor of mindfulness accompanied by compassion … the enlightenment factor of equanimity accompanied by compassion, based upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, maturing in release. If he wishes: ‘May I dwell perceiving the repulsive in the unrepulsive,’ he dwells perceiving the repulsive therein…. If he wishes: ‘Avoiding both the unrepulsive and the repulsive, may I dwell equanimously, mindful and clearly comprehending,’ then he dwells therein equanimously, mindful and clearly comprehending. Or else, with the complete transcendence of perceptions of forms, with the passing away of perceptions of sensory impingement, with nonattention to perceptions of diversity, aware that ‘space is infinite,’ he enters and dwells in the base of the infinity of space. [120] Bhikkhus, the liberation of mind by compassion has the base of the infinity of space as its culmination, I say, for a wise bhikkhu here who has not penetrated to a superior liberation.
    “And how, bhikkhus, is the liberation of the mind by altruistic joy developed? What does it have as its destination, its culmination, its fruit, its final goal? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu develops the enlightenment factor of mindfulness accompanied by altruistic joy … the enlightenment factor of equanimity accompanied by altruistic joy, based upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, maturing in release. If he wishes: ‘May I dwell perceiving the repulsive in the unrepulsive,’ he dwells perceiving the repulsive therein…. If he wishes: ‘Avoiding both the unrepulsive and the repulsive, may I dwell equanimously, mindful and clearly comprehending,’ then he dwells therein equanimously, mindful and clearly comprehending. Or else, by completely transcending the base of the infinity of space, aware that ‘consciousness is infinite,’ he enters and dwells in the base of the infinity of consciousness. Bhikkhus, the liberation of mind by altruistic joy has the base of the infinity of consciousness as its culmination, I say, for a wise bhikkhu here who has not penetrated to a superior liberation.
    “And how, bhikkhus, is the liberation of the mind by equanimity developed? What does it have as its destination, its culmination, its fruit, its final goal? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu develops the enlightenment factor of mindfulness accompanied by equanimity … the enlightenment factor of equanimity accompanied by equanimity, based upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, maturing in release. If he wishes: ‘May I dwell perceiving the repulsive in the unrepulsive,’ he dwells perceiving the repulsive therein…. If he wishes: ‘Avoiding both the unrepulsive and the repulsive, may I dwell equanimously, mindful and clearly comprehending,’ then he dwells therein equanimously, mindful and clearly comprehending. [121] Or else, by completely transcending the base of the infinity of consciousness, aware that ‘there is nothing,’ he enters and dwells in the base of nothingness. Bhikkhus, the liberation of mind by equanimity has the base of nothingness as its culmination, I say, for a wise bhikkhu here who has not penetrated to a superior liberation.”

55 (5) Saṅgārava
At Sāvatthī. Then the brahmin Saṅgārava approached the Blessed One and exchanged greetings with him. When they had concluded their greetings and cordial talk, he sat down to one side and said to the Blessed One:
    “Master Gotama, what is the cause and reason why sometimes even those hymns that have been recited over a long period do not recur to the mind, let alone those that have not been recited? What is the cause and reason why sometimes those hymns that have not been recited over a long period recur to the mind, let alone those that have been recited?”

(i. Why the hymns do not recur to the mind)

“Brahmin, when one dwells with a mind obsessed by sensual lust, overwhelmed by sensual lust, and one does not understand as it really is the escape from arisen sensual lust, on that occasion one neither knows nor sees as it really is one’s own good, or the good of others, or the good of both. Then even those hymns that have been recited over a long period do not recur to the mind, let alone those that have not been recited.
    “Suppose, brahmin, there is a bowl of water mixed with lac, turmeric, blue dye, or crimson dye. If a man with good sight were to examine his own facial reflection in it, he would neither know nor see it as it really is. So too, brahmin, when one dwells with a mind obsessed by sensual lust … [122] … on that occasion even those hymns that have been recited over a long period do not recur to the mind, let alone those that have not been recited.
    “Again, brahmin, when one dwells with a mind obsessed by ill will, overwhelmed by ill will, and one does not understand as it really is the escape from arisen ill will, on that occasion one neither knows nor sees as it really is one’s own good, or the good of others, or the good of both. Then even those hymns that have been recited over a long period do not recur to the mind, let alone those that have not been recited.
    “Suppose, brahmin, there is a bowl of water being heated over a fire, bubbling and boiling. If a man with good sight were to examine his own facial reflection in it, he would neither know nor see it as it really is. So too, brahmin, when one dwells with a mind obsessed by ill will … on that occasion even those hymns that have been recited over a long period do not recur to the mind, let alone those that have not been recited.
    “Again, brahmin, when one dwells with a mind obsessed by sloth and torpor, overwhelmed by sloth and torpor, and one does not understand as it really is the escape from arisen sloth and torpor, on that occasion one neither knows nor sees as it really is one’s own good, or the good of others, or the good of both. Then even those hymns that have been recited over a long period do not recur to the mind, let alone those that have not been recited.
    “Suppose, brahmin, there is a bowl of water covered over with water plants and algae. If a man with good sight were to examine his own facial reflection in it, [123] he would neither know nor see it as it really is. So too, brahmin, when one dwells with a mind obsessed by sloth and torpor … on that occasion even those hymns that have been recited over a long period do not recur to the mind, let alone those that have not been recited.
    “Again, brahmin, when one dwells with a mind obsessed by restlessness and remorse, overwhelmed by restlessness and remorse, and one does not understand as it really is the escape from arisen restlessness and remorse, on that occasion one neither knows nor sees as it really is one’s own good, or the good of others, or the good of both. Then even those hymns that have been recited over a long period do not recur to the mind, let alone those that have not been recited.
    “Suppose, brahmin, there is a bowl of water stirred by the wind, rippling, swirling, churned into wavelets. If a man with good sight were to examine his own facial reflection in it, he would neither know nor see it as it really is. So too, brahmin, when one dwells with a mind obsessed by restlessness and remorse … on that occasion even those hymns that have been recited over a long period do not recur to the mind, let alone those that have not been recited.
    “Again, brahmin, when one dwells with a mind obsessed by doubt, overwhelmed by doubt, and one does not understand as it really is the escape from arisen doubt, on that occasion one neither knows nor sees as it really is one’s own good, or the good of others, or the good of both. Then even those hymns that have been recited over a long period do not recur to the mind, let alone those that have not been recited.
    “Suppose, brahmin, there is a bowl of water that is turbid, unsettled, muddy, placed in the dark. If a man with good sight were to examine his own facial reflection in it, he would neither know nor see it as it really is. [124] So too, brahmin, when one dwells with a mind obsessed by doubt … on that occasion even those hymns that have been recited over a long period do not recur to the mind, let alone those that have not been recited.
    “This, brahmin, is the cause and reason why even those hymns that have been recited over a long period do not recur to the mind, let alone those that have not been recited.

(ii. Why the hymns recur to the mind)

“Brahmin, when one dwells with a mind that is not obsessed by sensual lust, not overwhelmed by sensual lust, and one understands as it really is the escape from arisen sensual lust, on that occasion one knows and sees as it really is one’s own good, and the good of others, and the good of both. Then even those hymns that have not been recited over a long period recur to the mind, let alone those that have been recited.
    “Suppose, brahmin, there is a bowl of water not mixed with lac, turmeric, blue dye, or crimson dye. If a man with good sight were to examine his own facial reflection in it, he would know and see it as it really is. So too, brahmin, when one dwells with a mind that is not obsessed by sensual lust … on that occasion even those hymns that have not been recited over a long period recur to the mind, let alone those that have been recited.
    “Again, brahmin, when one dwells with a mind that is not obsessed by ill will … on that occasion even those hymns that have not been recited over a long period recur to the mind, let alone those that have been recited.
    “Suppose, brahmin, there is a bowl of water not heated over a fire, not bubbling, not boiling. If a man with good sight were to examine his own facial reflection in it, he would know and see it as it really is. [125] So too, brahmin, when one dwells with a mind that is not obsessed by ill will … on that occasion even those hymns that have not been recited over a long period recur to the mind, let alone those that have been recited.
    “Again, brahmin, when one dwells with a mind that is not obsessed by sloth and torpor … on that occasion even those hymns that have not been recited over a long period recur to the mind, let alone those that have been recited.
    “Suppose, brahmin, there is a bowl of water not covered over with water plants and algae. If a man with good sight were to examine his own facial reflection in it, he would know and see it as it really is. So too, brahmin, when one dwells with a mind that is not obsessed by sloth and torpor … on that occasion even those hymns that have not been recited over a long period recur to the mind, let alone those that have been recited.
    “Again, brahmin, when one dwells with a mind that is not obsessed by restlessness and remorse … on that occasion even those hymns that have not been recited over a long period recur to the mind, let alone those that have been recited.
    “Suppose, brahmin, there is a bowl of water not stirred by the wind, without ripples, without swirls, not churned into wavelets. If a man with good sight were to examine his own facial reflection in it, he would know and see it as it really is. So too, brahmin, when one dwells with a mind that is not obsessed by restlessness and remorse … on that occasion even those hymns that have not been recited over a long period recur to the mind, let alone those that have been recited.
    “Again, brahmin, when one dwells with a mind that is not obsessed by doubt … on that occasion even those hymns that have not been recited over a long period recur to the mind, let alone those that have been recited.
    “Suppose, brahmin, there is a bowl of water that is clear, serene, limpid, set out in the light. If a man with good sight were to examine his own facial reflection in it, he would know and see it as it really is. So too, brahmin, when one dwells with a mind that is not obsessed by doubt … on that occasion even those hymns that have not been recited over a long period recur to the mind, let alone those that have been recited. [126]
    “This, brahmin, is the cause and reason why even those hymns that have not been recited over a long period recur to the mind, let alone those that have been recited.
    “These seven factors of enlightenment, brahmin, are nonobstructions, nonhindrances, noncorruptions of the mind; when developed and cultivated they lead to the realization of the fruit of true knowledge and liberation. What seven? The enlightenment factor of mindfulness is a nonobstruction … The enlightenment factor of equanimity is a nonobstruction.… These seven factors of enlightenment are nonobstructions, nonhindrances, noncorruptions of the mind; when developed and cultivated they lead to the realization of the fruit of true knowledge and liberation.”
    When this was said, the brahmin Saṅgārava said to the Blessed One: “Magnificent, Master Gotama!… From today let Master Gotama remember me as a lay follower who has gone for refuge for life.”

56 (6) Abhaya
Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Rājagaha on Mount Vulture Peak. Then Prince Abhaya approached the Blessed One, paid homage to him, sat down to one side, and said to him:
    “Venerable sir, Pūraṇa Kassapa says: ‘There is no cause or condition for lack of knowledge and vision; lack of knowledge and vision is without cause or condition. There is no cause or condition for knowledge and vision; knowledge and vision are without cause or condition.’ What does the Blessed One say about this?”
    “There is, prince, a cause and condition for lack of knowledge and vision; lack of knowledge and vision is with cause and condition. [127] There is a cause and condition for knowledge and vision; knowledge and vision are with cause and condition.”

(i. The cause for lack of knowledge and vision)

“But, venerable sir, what is the cause and condition for lack of knowledge and vision? How is it that lack of knowledge and vision is with cause and condition?”
    “On an occasion, prince, when one dwells with a mind obsessed by sensual lust, overwhelmed by sensual lust, and one neither knows nor sees as it really is the escape from arisen sensual lust: this is a cause and condition for lack of knowledge and vision; it is in this way that lack of knowledge and vision is with cause and condition.
    “Again, prince, on an occasion when one dwells with a mind obsessed by ill will … obsessed by sloth and torpor … obsessed by restlessness and remorse … obsessed by doubt, overwhelmed by doubt, and one neither knows nor sees as it really is the escape from arisen doubt: this too is a cause and condition for lack of knowledge and vision; it is in this way too that lack of knowledge and vision is with cause and condition.”
    “What is this Dhamma exposition called, venerable sir?”
    “These are called the hindrances, prince.”
    “Surely they are hindrances, Blessed One! Surely they are hindrances, Fortunate One! One overcome by even a single hindrance would not know and see things as they really are, not to speak of one overcome by the five hindrances.

(ii. The cause of knowledge and vision)

“But, venerable sir, what is the cause and condition for knowledge and vision? How is it that knowledge and vision are with cause and condition?” [128]
    “Here, prince, a bhikkhu develops the enlightenment factor of mindfulness, which is based upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, maturing in release. With a mind that has developed the enlightenment factor of mindfulness he knows and sees things as they really are. This is a cause for knowledge and vision; it is in this way that knowledge and vision are with cause and condition….
    “Again, prince, a bhikkhu develops the enlightenment factor of equanimity, which is based upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, maturing in release. With a mind that has developed the enlightenment factor of equanimity he knows and sees things as they really are. This too is a cause for knowledge and vision; it is in this way that knowledge and vision are with cause and condition.”
    “What is this Dhamma exposition called, venerable sir?”
    “These are called the factors of enlightenment, prince.”
    “Surely they are factors of enlightenment, Blessed One! Surely they are factors of enlightenment, Fortunate One! One who possesses even a single factor of enlightenment would know and see things as they really are, not to speak of one who possesses the seven factors of enlightenment. The bodily fatigue and the mental fatigue that I experienced from climbing Mount Vulture Peak have subsided. I have made the breakthrough to the Dhamma.”
 

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© Bhikkhu Bodhi, The Connected Discourses of the Buddha (Wisdom Publications, 2000)

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