Classic and Contemporary Buddhist Works

The Connected Discourses of the Buddha - Selections

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

IV. The Hindrances

31 (1) Wholesome (1)
“Bhikkhus, whatever states there are that are wholesome, partaking of the wholesome, pertaining to the wholesome, they are all rooted in diligence, converge upon diligence, and diligence is declared to be the chief among them. When a bhikkhu is diligent, it is to be expected that he will develop and cultivate the seven factors of enlightenment.
    “And how, bhikkhus, does a bhikkhu who is diligent develop and cultivate the seven factors of enlightenment? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu develops the enlightenment factor of mindfulness … the enlightenment factor of equanimity, which is based upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, maturing in release. It is in this way, bhikkhus, that a bhikkhu who is diligent develops and cultivates the seven factors of enlightenment.”

32 (2) Wholesome (2)
“Bhikkhus, whatever states there are that are wholesome, partaking of the wholesome, pertaining to the wholesome, they are all rooted in careful attention, converge upon careful attention, and careful attention is declared to be the chief among them. When a bhikkhu is accomplished in careful attention, it is to be expected that he will develop and cultivate the seven factors of enlightenment.
    “And how, bhikkhus, does a bhikkhu who is accomplished in careful attention develop and cultivate the seven factors of enlightenment?…” (All as above.) [92]

33 (3) Corruptions
“Bhikkhus, there are these five corruptions of gold, corrupted by which gold is neither malleable nor wieldy nor radiant but brittle and not properly fit for work. What five? Iron is a corruption of gold, corrupted by which gold is neither malleable nor wieldy nor radiant but brittle and not properly fit for work. Copper is a corruption of gold … Tin is a corruption of gold … Lead is a corruption of gold … Silver is a corruption of gold.… These are the five corruptions of gold, corrupted by which gold is neither malleable nor wieldy nor radiant but brittle and not properly fit for work.
    “So too, bhikkhus, there are these five corruptions of the mind, corrupted by which the mind is neither malleable nor wieldy nor radiant but brittle and not rightly concentrated for the destruction of the taints. What five? Sensual desire is a corruption of the mind, corrupted by which the mind is neither malleable nor wieldy nor radiant but brittle and not rightly concentrated for the destruction of the taints. [Ill will is a corruption of the mind … Sloth and torpor are a corruption of the mind … Restlessness and remorse are a corruption of the mind … Doubt is a corruption of the mind.…] [93] These are the five corruptions of the mind, corrupted by which the mind is neither malleable nor wieldy nor radiant but brittle and not rightly concentrated for the destruction of the taints.”

34 (4) Noncorruptions
“Bhikkhus, 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. What seven? The enlightenment factor of mindfulness, bhikkhus, is a nonobstruction … The enlightenment factor of equanimity is a nonobstruction, a nonhindrance, a noncorruption of the mind; when developed and cultivated it leads to the realization of the fruit of true knowledge and liberation. 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.”

35 (5) Careful Attention
“Bhikkhus, when one attends carelessly, unarisen sensual desire arises and arisen sensual desire increases and expands; unarisen ill will arises and arisen ill will increases and expands; unarisen sloth and torpor arise and arisen sloth and torpor increase and expand; unarisen restlessness and remorse arise and arisen restlessness and remorse increase and expand; [94] unarisen doubt arises and arisen doubt increases and expands.
    “Bhikkhus, when one attends carefully, the unarisen enlightenment factor of mindfulness arises and the arisen enlightenment factor of mindfulness goes to fulfilment by development … the unarisen enlightenment factor of equanimity arises and the arisen enlightenment factor of equanimity goes to fulfilment by development.”

36 (6) Growth
“Bhikkhus, these seven factors of enlightenment, when developed and cultivated, lead to growth, to nondecline. What seven? The enlightenment factor of mindfulness … the enlightenment factor of equanimity. These seven factors of enlightenment, when developed and cultivated, lead to growth, to nondecline.”

37 (7) Obstructions
“Bhikkhus, there are these five obstructions, hindrances, corruptions of the mind, weakeners of wisdom. What five? Sensual desire is an obstruction, a hindrance, a corruption of the mind, a weakener of wisdom. Ill will is an obstruction … Sloth and torpor are an obstruction … [95] Restlessness and remorse are an obstruction … Doubt is an obstruction … a weakener of wisdom. These are the five obstructions, hindrances, corruptions of the mind, weakeners of wisdom.
    “There are, bhikkhus, these seven factors of enlightenment, which 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 are the seven factors of enlightenment that are nonobstructions, nonhindrances, noncorruptions of the mind; when developed and cultivated they lead to the realization of the fruit of true knowledge and liberation.”

38 (8) Without Hindrances
“When, bhikkhus, a noble disciple listens to the Dhamma with eager ears, attending to it as a matter of vital concern, directing his whole mind to it, on that occasion the five hindrances are not present in him; on that occasion the seven factors of enlightenment go to fulfilment by development.
    “And what are the five hindrances that are not present on that occasion? The hindrance of sensual desire is not present on that occasion; the hindrance of ill will … the hindrance of sloth and torpor … the hindrance of restlessness and remorse … the hindrance of doubt is not present on that occasion. These are the five hindrances that are not present on that occasion.
    “And what are the seven factors of enlightenment that go to fulfilment by development on that occasion? The enlightenment factor of mindfulness goes to fulfilment by development on that occasion…. The enlightenment factor of equanimity goes to fulfilment by development on that occasion. [96] These are the seven factors of enlightenment that go to fulfilment by development on that occasion.
    “When, bhikkhus, a noble disciple listens to the Dhamma with eager ears, attending to it as a matter of vital concern, directing his whole mind to it, on that occasion these five hindrances are not present in him; on that occasion these seven factors of enlightenment go to fulfilment by development.”

39 (9) Trees
“Bhikkhus, there are huge trees with tiny seeds and huge bodies, encirclers of other trees, and the trees which they encircle become bent, twisted, and split. And what are those huge trees with tiny seeds and huge bodies? The assattha, the banyan, the pilakkha, the udumbara, the kacchaka, and the kapitthana: these are those huge trees with tiny seeds and huge bodies, encirclers of other trees, and the trees which they encircle become bent, twisted, and split. So too, bhikkhus, when some clansman here has left behind sensual pleasures and gone forth from the household life into homelessness, he becomes bent, twisted, and split because of those same sensual pleasures, or because of others worse than them.
    “These five, bhikkhus, are obstructions, hindrances, encirclers of the mind, weakeners of wisdom. What five? Sensual desire is an obstruction, a hindrance encircling the mind, a weakener of wisdom. Ill will … Sloth and torpor … Restlessness and remorse … Doubt is an obstruction … a weakener of wisdom. [97] These are the five obstructions, hindrances, encirclers of the mind, weakeners of wisdom.
    “These seven factors of enlightenment, bhikkhus, are nonobstructions, nonhindrances, nonencirclers 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, nonencirclers of the mind; when developed and cultivated they lead to the realization of the fruit of true knowledge and liberation.”

40 (10) Hindrances
“Bhikkhus, these five hindrances are makers of blindness, causing lack of vision, causing lack of knowledge, detrimental to wisdom, tending to vexation, leading away from Nibbāna. What five? The hindrance of sensual desire is a maker of blindness … The hindrance of ill will … The hindrance of sloth and torpor … The hindrance of restlessness and remorse … The hindrance of doubt is a maker of blindness … leading away from Nibbāna. These five hindrances are makers of blindness, causing lack of vision, causing lack of knowledge, detrimental to wisdom, tending to vexation, leading away from Nibbāna.
    “These seven factors of enlightenment, bhikkhus, are makers of vision, makers of knowledge, promoting the growth of wisdom, free from vexation, leading towards Nibbāna. What seven? The enlightenment factor of mindfulness is a maker of vision … The enlightenment factor of equanimity is a maker of vision … leading towards Nibbāna. [98] These seven factors of enlightenment are makers of vision, makers of knowledge, promoting the growth of wisdom, free from vexation, leading towards Nibbāna.”
 

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

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