The Connected Discourses of the Buddha - Selections

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

I. The Mountain

1 (1) The Himalayas
At Sāvatthī. “Bhikkhus, based upon the Himalayas, the king of mountains, the nāgas nurture their bodies and acquire strength. When they have nurtured their bodies and acquired strength, they then enter the pools. From the pools they enter the lakes, then the streams, then the rivers, and finally they enter the ocean. There they achieve greatness and expansiveness of body. So too, bhikkhus, based upon virtue, established upon virtue, a bhikkhu develops and cultivates the seven factors of enlightenment, and thereby he achieves greatness and expansiveness in [wholesome] states.
   “And how does a bhikkhu, based upon virtue, established upon virtue, develop 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. [64] He develops the enlightenment factor of discrimination of states … the enlightenment factor of energy … the enlightenment factor of rapture … the enlightenment factor of tranquillity … the enlightenment factor of concentration … 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 the seven factors of enlightenment, and thereby achieves greatness and expansiveness in [wholesome] states.”

2 (2) The Body

(i. The nutriments for the hindrances)

At Sāvatthī. “Bhikkhus, just as this body, sustained by nutriment, subsists in dependence on nutriment and does not subsist without nutriment, so too the five hindrances, sustained by nutriment, subsist in dependence on nutriment and do not subsist without nutriment.
    “And what, bhikkhus, is the nutriment for the arising of unarisen sensual desire and for the increase and expansion of arisen sensual desire? 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: [65] 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.
   “Just as this body, bhikkhus, sustained by nutriment, subsists in dependence on nutriment and does not subsist without nutriment, so too the five hindrances, sustained by nutriment, subsist in dependence on nutriment and do not subsist without nutriment.

(ii. The nutriments for the enlightenment factors)

“Bhikkhus, just as this body, sustained by nutriment, subsists in dependence on nutriment and does not subsist without nutriment, so too the seven factors of enlightenment, sustained by nutriment, subsist in dependence on nutriment and do not subsist without nutriment.
    “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: 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. [66]
   “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.
   “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. [67]
   “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.
   “Just as this body, bhikkhus, sustained by nutriment, subsists in dependence on nutriment and does not subsist without nutriment, so too these seven factors of enlightenment, sustained by nutriment, subsist in dependence on nutriment and do not subsist without nutriment.”

3 (3) Virtue
“Bhikkhus, those bhikkhus who are accomplished in virtue, accomplished in concentration, accomplished in wisdom, accomplished in liberation, accomplished in the knowledge and vision of liberation: even the sight of those bhikkhus is helpful, I say; even listening to them … even approaching them … even attending on them … even recollecting them … even going forth after them is helpful, I say. For what reason? Because when one has heard the Dhamma from such bhikkhus one dwells withdrawn by way of two kinds of withdrawal—withdrawal of body and withdrawal of mind.
   “Dwelling thus withdrawn, one recollects that Dhamma and thinks it over. Whenever, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu dwelling thus withdrawn recollects that Dhamma and thinks it over, [68] on that occasion the enlightenment factor of mindfulness is aroused by the bhikkhu; on that occasion the bhikkhu develops the enlightenment factor of mindfulness; on that occasion the enlightenment factor of mindfulness comes to fulfilment by development in the bhikkhu.
   “Dwelling thus mindfully, he discriminates that Dhamma with wisdom, examines it, makes an investigation of it. Whenever, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu dwelling thus mindfully discriminates that Dhamma with wisdom, examines it, makes an investigation of it, on that occasion the enlightenment factor of discrimination of states is aroused by the bhikkhu; on that occasion the bhikkhu develops the enlightenment factor of discrimination of states; on that occasion the enlightenment factor of discrimination of states comes to fulfilment by development in the bhikkhu.
   “While he discriminates that Dhamma with wisdom, examines it, makes an investigation of it, his energy is aroused without slackening. Whenever, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu’s energy is aroused without slackening as he discriminates that Dhamma with wisdom, examines it, makes an investigation of it, on that occasion the enlightenment factor of energy is aroused by the bhikkhu; on that occasion the bhikkhu develops the enlightenment factor of energy; on that occasion the enlightenment factor of energy comes to fulfilment by development in the bhikkhu.
   “When his energy is aroused, there arises in him spiritual rapture. Whenever, bhikkhus, spiritual rapture arises in a bhikkhu whose energy is aroused, on that occasion the enlightenment factor of rapture is aroused by the bhikkhu; on that occasion the bhikkhu develops the enlightenment factor of rapture; on that occasion the enlightenment factor of rapture comes to fulfilment by development in the bhikkhu.
   “For one whose mind is uplifted by rapture the body becomes tranquil and the mind becomes tranquil. Whenever, bhikkhus, the body becomes tranquil and the mind becomes tranquil in a bhikkhu whose mind is uplifted by rapture, on that occasion the enlightenment factor of tranquillity is aroused by the bhikkhu; on that occasion the bhikkhu develops the enlightenment factor of tranquillity; on that occasion the enlightenment factor of tranquillity comes to fulfilment by development in the bhikkhu. [69]
   “For one whose body is tranquil and who is happy the mind becomes concentrated. Whenever, bhikkhus, the mind becomes concentrated in a bhikkhu whose body is tranquil and who is happy, on that occasion the enlightenment factor of concentration is aroused by the bhikkhu; on that occasion the bhikkhu develops the enlightenment factor of concentration; on that occasion the enlightenment factor of concentration comes to fulfilment by development in the bhikkhu.
   “He closely looks on with equanimity at the mind thus concentrated. Whenever, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu closely looks on with equanimity at the mind thus concentrated, on that occasion the enlightenment factor of equanimity is aroused by the bhikkhu; on that occasion the bhikkhu develops the enlightenment factor of equanimity; on that occasion the enlightenment factor of equanimity comes to fulfilment by development in the bhikkhu.
   “Bhikkhus, when these seven factors of enlightenment have been developed and cultivated in this way, seven fruits and benefits may be expected. What are the seven fruits and benefits?
   “One attains final knowledge early in this very life.
   “If one does not attain final knowledge early in this very life, then one attains final knowledge at the time of death.
   “If one does not attain final knowledge early in this very life or at the time of death, then with the utter destruction of the five lower fetters one becomes an attainer of Nibbāna in the interval.
   “If one does not attain final knowledge early in this very life … or become an attainer of Nibbāna in the interval, then with the utter destruction of the five lower fetters one becomes an attainer of Nibbāna upon landing.
   “If one does not attain final knowledge early in this very life … [70] … or become an attainer of Nibbāna upon landing, then with the utter destruction of the five lower fetters one becomes an attainer of Nibbāna without exertion.
   “If one does not attain final knowledge early in this very life … or become an attainer of Nibbāna without exertion, then with the utter destruction of the five lower fetters one becomes an attainer of Nibbāna with exertion.
   “If one does not attain final knowledge early in this very life … or become an attainer of Nibbāna with exertion, then with the utter destruction of the five lower fetters one becomes one bound upstream, heading towards the Akaniṭṭha realm.
   “When, bhikkhus, the seven factors of enlightenment have been developed and cultivated in this way, these seven fruits and benefits may be expected.”

4 (4) Clothes
On one occasion the Venerable Sāriputta was dwelling at Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s Park. There the Venerable Sāriputta addressed the bhikkhus thus: “Friends, bhikkhus!” [71]
   “Friend,” they replied. The Venerable Sāriputta said this:
   “Friends, there are these seven factors of enlightenment. What seven? The enlightenment factor of mindfulness, the enlightenment factor of discrimination of states, the enlightenment factor of energy, the enlightenment factor of rapture, the enlightenment factor of tranquillity, the enlightenment factor of concentration, the enlightenment factor of equanimity. These are the seven factors of enlightenment.
   “Whichever of these seven factors of enlightenment I want to dwell in during the morning, I dwell in that factor of enlightenment during the morning. Whichever I want to dwell in during the middle of the day, I dwell in that factor of enlightenment during the middle of the day. Whichever I want to dwell in during the evening, I dwell in that factor of enlightenment during the evening.
   “If, friends, it occurs to me, ‘[Let it be] the enlightenment factor of mindfulness,’ it occurs to me, ‘It’s measureless’; it occurs to me, ‘It’s fully perfected.’ While it persists, I understand, ‘It persists.’ If it abates in me, I understand, ‘It has abated in me for a particular reason.’ …
   “If, friends, it occurs to me, ‘[Let it be] the enlightenment factor of equanimity,’ it occurs to me, ‘It’s measureless’; it occurs to me, ‘It’s fully perfected.’ While it persists, I understand, ‘It persists.’ But if it abates in me, I understand, ‘It has abated in me for a particular reason.’
   “Suppose, friends, a king or a royal minister had a wardrobe full of differently coloured clothes. Whatever suit he might want to wear in the morning he would wear in the morning. Whatever suit he might want to wear during the middle of the day he would wear during the middle of the day. Whatever suit he might want to wear in the evening he would wear in the evening. [72] So too, friends, whichever of these seven factors of enlightenment I want to dwell in during the morning … during the middle of the day … during the evening, I dwell in that factor of enlightenment during the evening.
   “If, friends, it occurs to me, ‘[Let it be] the enlightenment factor of mindfulness’ … (all as above) … I understand, ‘It has abated in me for a particular reason.’”

5 (5) A Bhikkhu
At Sāvatthī. Then a certain bhikkhu approached the Blessed One … and said to him: “Venerable sir, it is said, ‘factors of enlightenment, factors of enlightenment.’ In what sense are they called factors of enlightenment?”
   “They lead to enlightenment, bhikkhu, therefore they are called factors of enlightenment. Here, bhikkhu, one develops the enlightenment factor of mindfulness, which is based upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, maturing in release…. One develops the enlightenment factor of equanimity, which is based upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, maturing in release. While one is developing these seven factors of enlightenment, one’s mind is liberated from the taint of sensuality, from the taint of existence, from the taint of ignorance. When it is liberated there comes the knowledge: ‘It’s liberated.’ One understands: ‘Destroyed is birth, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no more for this state of being.’ They lead to enlightenment, bhikkhu, therefore they are called factors of enlightenment.” [73]

6 (6) Kuṇḍaliya
On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Sāketa in the Deer Park at the Añjana Grove. Then the wanderer Kuṇḍaliya 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, I am one who stays around monastic parks and frequents assemblies. After the meal, when I have finished my breakfast, it is my custom to roam and wander from park to park, from garden to garden. There I see some ascetics and brahmins engaged in discussion for the benefits of rescuing their own theses in debate and condemning [the theses of others]. But what is the benefit that Master Gotama lives for?”
   “Kuṇḍaliya, the Tathāgata lives for the benefit and fruit of true knowledge and liberation.”
   “But, Master Gotama, what things, when developed and cultivated, fulfil true knowledge and liberation?”
   “The seven factors of enlightenment, Kuṇḍaliya, when developed and cultivated, fulfil true knowledge and liberation.”
   “But, Master Gotama, what things, when developed and cultivated, fulfil the seven factors of enlightenment?”
   “The four establishments of mindfulness, Kuṇḍaliya, when developed and cultivated, fulfil the seven factors of enlightenment.”
   “But, Master Gotama, what things, when developed and cultivated, fulfil the four establishments of mindfulness?”
   “The three kinds of good conduct, Kuṇḍaliya, when developed and cultivated, fulfil the four establishments of mindfulness.”
   “But, Master Gotama, what things, when developed and cultivated, fulfil the three kinds of good conduct?” [74]
   “Restraint of the sense faculties, Kuṇḍaliya, when developed and cultivated, fulfils the three kinds of good conduct.
   “And how, Kuṇḍaliya, is restraint of the sense faculties developed and cultivated so that it fulfils the three kinds of good conduct? Here, Kuṇḍaliya, having seen an agreeable form with the eye, a bhikkhu does not long for it, or become excited by it, or generate lust for it. His body is steady and his mind is steady, inwardly well composed and well liberated. But having seen a disagreeable form with the eye, he is not dismayed by it, not daunted, not dejected, without ill will. His body is steady and his mind is steady, inwardly well composed and well liberated.
   “Further, Kuṇḍaliya, having heard an agreeable sound with the ear … having smelt an agreeable odour with the nose … having savoured an agreeable taste with the tongue … having felt an agreeable tactile object with the body … having cognized an agreeable mental phenomenon with the mind, a bhikkhu does not long for it, or become excited by it, or generate lust for it. But having cognized a disagreeable mental phenomenon with the mind, he is not dismayed by it, not daunted, not dejected, without ill will. His body is steady and his mind is steady, inwardly well composed and well liberated.
   “When, Kuṇḍaliya, after he has seen a form with the eye, a bhikkhu’s body is steady and his mind is steady, inwardly well composed and well liberated in regard to both agreeable and disagreeable forms; when, after he has heard a sound with the ear … smelt an odour with the nose … savoured a taste with the tongue … felt a tactile object with the body … cognized a mental phenomenon with the mind, a bhikkhu’s body is steady and his mind is steady, inwardly well composed and well liberated in regard to both agreeable and disagreeable mental phenomena, [75] then his restraint of the sense faculties has been developed and cultivated in such a way that it fulfils the three kinds of good conduct.
   “And how, Kuṇḍaliya, are the three kinds of good conduct developed and cultivated so that they fulfil the four establishments of mindfulness? Here, Kuṇḍaliya, having abandoned bodily misconduct, a bhikkhu develops good bodily conduct; having abandoned verbal misconduct, he develops good verbal conduct; having abandoned mental misconduct, he develops good mental conduct. It is in this way that the three kinds of good conduct are developed and cultivated so that they fulfil the four establishments of mindfulness.
   “And how, Kuṇḍaliya, are the four establishments of mindfulness developed and cultivated so that they fulfil the seven factors of enlightenment? Here, Kuṇḍaliya, a bhikkhu dwells contemplating the body in the body, ardent, clearly comprehending and mindful, having removed covetousness and displeasure in regard to the world. He dwells contemplating feelings in feelings … mind in mind … phenomena in phenomena, ardent, clearly comprehending and mindful, having removed covetousness and displeasure in regard to the world. It is in this way that the four establishments of mindfulness are developed and cultivated so that they fulfil the seven factors of enlightenment.
   “And how, Kuṇḍaliya, are the seven factors of enlightenment developed and cultivated so that they fulfil true knowledge and liberation? Here, Kuṇḍaliya, 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 that the seven factors of enlightenment are developed and cultivated so that they fulfil true knowledge and liberation.”
   When this was said, the wanderer Kuṇḍaliya said to the Blessed One: “Magnificent, Master Gotama! Magnificent, Master Gotama! The Dhamma has been made clear in many ways by Master Gotama, as though he were turning upright what had been turned upside down, revealing what was hidden, showing the way to one who was lost, or holding up a lamp in the dark for those with eyesight to see forms. I go for refuge to Master Gotama, and to the Dhamma, and to the Bhikkhu Saṅgha. From today let Master Gotama remember me as a lay follower who has gone for refuge for life.”

7 (7) The Peaked House
“Bhikkhus, just as all the rafters of a peaked house slant, slope, and incline towards the roof peak, so too, when a bhikkhu develops and cultivates the seven factors of enlightenment, he slants, slopes, and inclines towards Nibbāna. [76]
   “And how is this 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 that a bhikkhu develops and cultivates the seven factors of enlightenment so that he slants, slopes, and inclines towards Nibbāna.”

8 (8) Upavāṇa
On one occasion the Venerable Upavāṇa and the Venerable Sāriputta were dwelling at Kosambī in Ghosita’s Park. Then, in the evening, the Venerable Sāriputta emerged from seclusion and approached the Venerable Upavāṇa. He exchanged greetings with the Venerable Upavāṇa and, when they had concluded their greetings and cordial talk, he sat down to one side and said to him:
   “Friend Upavāṇa, can a bhikkhu know for himself: ‘By careful attention the seven factors of enlightenment have been fully perfected by me in such a way that they lead to dwelling in comfort’?”
   “A bhikkhu can know this for himself, friend Sāriputta. When arousing the enlightenment factor of mindfulness, friend, a bhikkhu understands: ‘My mind is well liberated; I have uprooted sloth and torpor and thoroughly removed restlessness and remorse. My energy has been aroused. I attend as a matter of vital concern, not sluggishly.’… When arousing the enlightenment factor of equanimity, he understands: [77] ‘My mind is well liberated; I have uprooted sloth and torpor and thoroughly removed restlessness and remorse. My energy has been aroused. I attend as a matter of vital concern, not sluggishly.’
   “It is in this way, friend, that a bhikkhu can know for himself: ‘By careful attention the seven factors of enlightenment have been fully perfected by me in such a way that they lead to dwelling in comfort.’”

9 (9) Arisen (or Arising) (1)
“Bhikkhus, these seven factors of enlightenment, developed and cultivated, if unarisen do not arise apart from the appearance of a Tathāgata, an Arahant, a Perfectly Enlightened One. What seven? The enlightenment factor of mindfulness … the enlightenment factor of equanimity. These seven factors of enlightenment, developed and cultivated, if unarisen do not arise apart from the appearance of a Tathāgata, an Arahant, a Perfectly Enlightened One.”

10 (10) Arisen (or Arising) (2)
“Bhikkhus, these seven factors of enlightenment, developed and cultivated, if unarisen do not arise apart from the Discipline of a Fortunate One. What seven? The enlightenment factor of mindfulness … the enlightenment factor of equanimity. These seven factors of enlightenment, developed and cultivated, if unarisen do not arise apart from the Discipline of a Fortunate One.
 

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