The Connected Discourses of the Buddha - Selections

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

II. Ill

11 (1) Living Beings
“Bhikkhus, whatever living beings there are which assume the four postures—sometimes walking, sometimes standing, sometimes sitting, sometimes lying down—all assume the four postures based upon the earth, established upon the earth. So too, based upon virtue, established upon virtue, a bhikkhu develops and cultivates the seven factors of enlightenment.
    “And how does he do so? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu develops the enlightenment factor of mindfulness, which is based upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, maturing in release…. He develops 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, based upon virtue, established upon virtue, develops and cultivates the seven factors of enlightenment.”

12 (2) The Simile of the Sun (1)
“Bhikkhus, this is the forerunner and precursor of the rising of the sun, that is, the dawn. So too, bhikkhus, for a bhikkhu this is the forerunner and precursor of the arising of the seven factors of enlightenment, that is, good friendship. When a bhikkhu has a good friend, it is to be expected that he will develop and cultivate the seven factors of enlightenment.
    “And how does a bhikkhu who has a good friend develop and cultivate the seven factors of enlightenment? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu develops the enlightenment factor of mindfulness, which is based upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, maturing in release…. He develops the enlightenment factor of equanimity, which is based upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, maturing in release. It is in this way, bhikkhus, [79] that a bhikkhu who has a good friend develops and cultivates the seven factors of enlightenment.”

13 (3) The Simile of the Sun (2)
“Bhikkhus, this is the forerunner and precursor of the rising of the sun, that is, the dawn. So too, bhikkhus, for a bhikkhu this is the forerunner and precursor of the arising of the seven factors of enlightenment, that is, careful attention. 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 does a bhikkhu who is accomplished in careful attention develop and cultivate the seven factors of enlightenment? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu develops the enlightenment factor of mindfulness, which is based upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, maturing in release…. He develops 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 accomplished in careful attention develops and cultivates the seven factors of enlightenment.”

14 (4) Ill (1)
On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Rājagaha in the Bamboo Grove, the Squirrel Sanctuary. Now on that occasion the Venerable Mahākassapa was dwelling in the Pipphali Cave—sick, afflicted, gravely ill. Then, in the evening, the Blessed One emerged from seclusion and approached the Venerable Mahākassapa. He sat down in the appointed seat and said to the Venerable Mahākassapa:
    “I hope you are bearing up, Kassapa, I hope you are getting better. I hope that your painful feelings are subsiding and not increasing, and that their subsiding, not their increase, is to be discerned.” [80]
    “Venerable sir, I am not bearing up, I am not getting better. Strong painful feelings are increasing in me, not subsiding, and their increase, not their subsiding, is to be discerned.”
    “These seven factors of enlightenment, Kassapa, have been rightly expounded by me; when developed and cultivated, they lead to direct knowledge, to enlightenment, to Nibbāna. What seven? The enlightenment factor of mindfulness has been rightly expounded by me; when developed and cultivated, it leads to direct knowledge, to enlightenment, to Nibbāna…. The enlightenment factor of equanimity has been rightly expounded by me; when developed and cultivated, it leads to direct knowledge, to enlightenment, to Nibbāna. These seven factors of enlightenment, Kassapa, have been rightly expounded by me; when developed and cultivated, they lead to direct knowledge, to enlightenment, to Nibbāna.”
    “Surely, Blessed One, they are factors of enlightenment! Surely, Fortunate One, they are factors of enlightenment!”
    This is what the Blessed One said. Elated, the Venerable Mahākassapa delighted in the Blessed One’s statement. And the Venerable Mahākassapa recovered from that illness. In such a way the Venerable Mahākassapa was cured of his illness.

15 (5) Ill (2)
On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Rājagaha in the Bamboo Grove, the Squirrel Sanctuary. Now on that occasion the Venerable Mahāmoggallāna was dwelling on Mount Vulture Peak—sick, afflicted, gravely ill. Then, in the evening, the Blessed One emerged from seclusion and approached the Venerable Mahāmoggallāna … (all as above, with the change of names being the only difference) … In such a way the Venerable Mahāmoggallāna was cured of his illness. [81]

16 (6) Ill (3)
On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Rājagaha in the Bamboo Grove, the Squirrel Sanctuary. Now on that occasion the Blessed One was sick, afflicted, gravely ill. Then the Venerable Mahācunda approached the Blessed One, paid homage to him, and sat down to one side. The Blessed One then said to the Venerable Mahācunda:
    “Recite the factors of enlightenment, Cunda.”
    “These seven factors of enlightenment, venerable sir, have been rightly expounded by the Blessed One; when developed and cultivated, they lead to direct knowledge, to enlightenment, to Nibbāna. What seven? The enlightenment factor of mindfulness has been rightly expounded by the Blessed One; when developed and cultivated, it leads to direct knowledge, to enlightenment, to Nibbāna…. The enlightenment factor of equanimity has been rightly expounded by the Blessed One; when developed and cultivated, it leads to direct knowledge, to enlightenment, to Nibbāna. These seven factors of enlightenment, venerable sir, have been rightly expounded by the Blessed One; when developed and cultivated, they lead to direct knowledge, to enlightenment, to Nibbāna.”
    “Surely, Cunda, they are factors of enlightenment! Surely, Cunda, they are factors of enlightenment!”
    This is what the Venerable Mahācunda said. The Teacher approved. And the Blessed One recovered from that illness. In such a way the Blessed One was cured of his illness.

17 (7) Going Beyond
“Bhikkhus, these seven factors of enlightenment, when developed and cultivated, lead to going beyond from the near shore to the far shore. What seven? The enlightenment factor of mindfulness … the enlightenment factor of equanimity. These seven factors of enlightenment, when developed and cultivated, lead to going beyond from the near shore to the far shore.” [82]

(The verses attached to this sutta are identical with those at 45:34 above.)


18 (8) Neglected
“Bhikkhus, those who have neglected the seven factors of enlightenment have neglected the noble path leading to the complete destruction of suffering. Those who have undertaken the seven factors of enlightenment have undertaken the noble path leading to the complete destruction of suffering.
    “What seven? The enlightenment factor of mindfulness … the enlightenment factor of equanimity.
    “Bhikkhus, those who have neglected … who have undertaken these seven factors of enlightenment have undertaken the noble path leading to the complete destruction of suffering.”

19 (9) Noble
“Bhikkhus, these seven factors of enlightenment, when developed and cultivated, are noble and emancipating; they lead the one who acts upon them out to the complete destruction of suffering. What seven? The enlightenment factor of mindfulness … the enlightenment factor of equanimity. These seven factors of enlightenment … lead the one who acts upon them out to the complete destruction of suffering.”

20 (10) Revulsion
“Bhikkhus, these seven factors of enlightenment, when developed and cultivated, lead to utter revulsion, to dispassion, to cessation, to peace, to direct knowledge, to enlightenment, to Nibbāna. What seven? The enlightenment factor of mindfulness … the enlightenment factor of equanimity. These seven factors of enlightenment … lead to Nibbāna.”
 

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

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